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COVID-19: Perspective
Maternal mental health in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic: a neglected global health issue
Kobi V. Ajayi, Elizabeth Wachira, Obasanjo Afolabi Bolarinwa, Beulah D. Suleman
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021078.   Published online October 6, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021078
  • 9,722 View
  • 157 Download
  • 5 Web of Science
  • 4 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly impacted mental health and well-being around the globe. Public health measures to control the virus’s rapid spread, such as physical distancing, social isolation, lockdown, restricted movements, and quarantine, caused fear and panic in the general population. Although pandemic-related stressors have been reported, changes that occur during the perinatal period compounded by those made to obstetric care guidelines may put pregnant and postpartum mothers at an increased risk of poor mental health. While an abundance of research has examined the impact of the pandemic on maternal mental health in developed nations such as Europe and America, very few studies have done so in the African continent. Considering that Africa has prominently weak health systems, poor mental health policies and infrastructure, high poverty rates, and unreliable maternal care, the pandemic is expected to have dire consequences on maternal mental health in the region. As such, multipronged mental health interventions and strategies that consider the heterogeneity within and between African regions must be developed. Doing so will close existing and widening global health disparities to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Summary
Key Message
Despite the adverse psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal mental health globally, little is known about its effect in Africa. As of the time of this study, only four research studies have been conducted in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Ghana, investigating the psychological sequelae of the pandemic among pregnant and postpartum women in Africa. This study calls for urgent multipronged maternal mental health interventions and psychosocial support that consider the heterogeneity within and between African regions.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Factors Influencing Compliance With Social Distancing as a Nonpharmaceutical Intervention Before Vaccine Availability During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study in South Korea
    Ah-Ra Kim, Shin Young Park, Seong-Sun Kim, Ji-Young Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Donghyok Kwon, Heejin Kimm
    Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.2024; 36(4): 378.     CrossRef
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    Keralem Anteneh Bishaw, Addisu Andalem, Haile Amha, Tirusew wondie
    Frontiers in Global Women's Health.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
Original Article
Postpartum modern contraceptive use in northern Ethiopia: prevalence and associated factors
Teklehaymanot Huluf Abraha, Alemayehu Shimeka Teferra, Abebaw Addis Gelagay
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017012.   Published online March 20, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2017012
  • 23,707 View
  • 669 Download
  • 45 Web of Science
  • 40 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The postpartum period is a critical period for addressing widespread unmet needs in family planning and for reducing the risks of closely spaced pregnancies. However, contraception during the extended postpartum period has been underemphasized in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to assess postpartum modern contraceptive use among women in northern Ethiopia and to identify factors associated with modern contraceptive use in the postpartum period.
METHODS
A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from March to April, 2015. Data were entered using Epi Info version 7 and then exported into Stata version 12 for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to identify the determinants of postpartum modern contraceptive use. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated, and p-values <0.05 were considered to indicate statistical significance.
RESULTS
Nearly half (48.0%) of women used modern contraceptives during the extended postpartum period. Postpartum modern contraceptive use was significantly associated with secondary and tertiary education levels (aOR, 4.25; 95% CI, 1.29 to 14.00; aOR, 5.36 ; 95% CI, 1.14 to 25.45, respectively), family planning counseling during prenatal and postnatal care (aOR, 5.72 ; 95% CI, 2.67, 12.28), having postnatal care (aOR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.15 to 4.87), resuming sexual activity (aOR, 9.53; 95% CI, 3.74 to 24.27), and menses returning after birth (aOR, 6.35; 95% CI, 3.14 to 13.39). In addition, experiencing problems with previous contraceptive use was negatively associated with modern contraceptive use (aOR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.16 to 0.72).
CONCLUSIONS
Low rate of postpartum modern contraceptive use were found in the study area. Therefore, strengthening family planning counseling during antenatal and postnatal care visits, improving utilization of postnatal care services and improving women’s educational status are crucial steps for to enhance modern contraceptive use among postpartum women.
Summary

Citations

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    Gebi Husein Jima, Jelle Stekelenburg, Hailu Fekadu, Tegbar Yigzaw Sendekie, Regien Biesma
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