Prevalence and Characteristics of Medicine Use among Pregnant Women at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Kenya
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Background: Exposure to prescription, herbal drugs, over the counter medicines, certain environmental compounds and micro-organisms in pregnancy has been linked to many neonatal and maternal complications including congenital malformations. Several studies across the world have shown that there is widespread use of medications during pregnancy and for majority of these drugs their safety and effects on the developing fetus is not known. The extent and the characteristics of drug use at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, which is the largest public maternity hospital has not been reported.

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence, categories and predictors for the use of prescription, and herbal medication among pregnant mothers at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: This will be a hospital based cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence and the characteristics of medicine use among pregnant women at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. A sample of four hundred and sixteen pregnant women will be studied. Data will be collected by the investigator through the use of questionnaire-guided interviews, review of patient treatment cards and patient files and registers. Descriptive and exploratory data analysis will be carried out using STATA version 10 and be presented in form of pie charts, bar graphs and frequency tables. Written informed consent will be sought from every respondent before the interview and the authority to conduct the study will be sought from the Ethics and Research Committees of The University of Nairobi/Kenyatta National Hospital and Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

Significance and expected outcomes: Studies across the world have shown that there is widespread use of medicines during pregnancy. Prevalence data, types and the categories of drugs used in pregnancy from this study will be useful for pharmacovigilance activities to promote the safety of medicines use among pregnant mothers and contribute towards efforts for maternal and child health.