In an era of inquisitive patients like the one we live today, sharing health information with our clients stands out as a key pillar to patient-centered care and increasing client satisfaction. However, access to authentic health information regarding preconception care and pregnancy to mothers and the general public remains a big challenge in many developing countries like Uganda.
Health education concerning pregnancy in Uganda is commonly shared during antenatal clinics. However, a recent study revealed that most women in Uganda begin attending antenatal clinics late, averagely at 5.5 months of pregnancy, many do not complete the required visits and over 37.6% of the women never understand the importance of attending these clinics. The knowledge gap on issues concerning pregnancy among the women and the general population greatly contributes to the high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in Uganda.
My Pregnancy is a 48 paged, A4 portable short handbook, written and published by Lubega Martin, during his final year as a nursing student at Makerere University to meet the information needs of the ever-growing literate and inquisitive population of mothers who want to have a better understanding of the pregnancy experience. The handbook is prepared to deliver authentic basic health information concerning pregnancy to women of reproductive age and the general public in simple non-medical English with colorful pictures and text to make it attractive and reader-friendly. The book covers preconception care as a key step to pregnancy preparedness, pregnancy and antenatal care, danger signs in pregnancy and labor preparation. It was reviewed by lecturers led by Ms. Namutebi Mariam, a nurse-midwife and lecturer at Makerere University, Department of Nursing, senior midwives and obstetricians at Kawempe National Referral Hospital. The book has also been submitted to the Technical working group at the ministry of health were it was reviewed by experts and awaits approval. The innovativeness indulged in the handbook is a true reflection of students’ ability to identify health care challenges in our societies and design practical solutions. It surprises not that it was among the projects that were awarded as Students’ Project for Health 2020 by The Network TUFH.
Hard copies of the book sell in various bookshops, antenatal care clinics, streets, and bus parks with a rapidly growing number of readers. However, the sales and production of the book have been hit hard by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown has kept printeries, bookshops, bus parks closed, and people off the street. All these measures have greatly affected sales and have challenged us to devise other means of running the project like using social media to deliver health information to our clientele. It has also opened our eyes to the need to utilize various electronic platforms like partnering with online bookshops so that soft copies can be sold online and acquiring a you-tube channel where the health information can be delivered in form of small clips. Please check out our Twitter page (@MyPregnancyBook) for more information regarding the project.
Contact Lubega Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.