School Papers

PROPOSAL both the fetus and expectant mother. It

PROPOSAL

Introduction
(Background and Literature Review)

Any female who has
begun to menstruate can become pregnant once she engages in unprotected sex or
undergoes any medical procedure geared towards creating an offspring. Like
everywhere else, in Ghana, the ages, religions, places of residence,
educational levels, marital status, membership in organizations, household
status, interests, values and social groups, among others, of pregnant women
span a vast range.

The
term “sociodemographic” refers to a group defined by its sociological and
demographic characteristics. Sociodemographic groups are used for analyses in
the social sciences as well as for marketing and medical studies. 

To
“break” the term “sociodemographic” into two; sociological characteristics are
more objective traits, such as membership in organizations, household status,
interests, values and social groups. Demographic characteristics can refer to
age, sex, place of residence, religion, educational level and marital status. A
group based on both sociological and demographic traits, such as people under
20 years of age who pay their own school fees, is an example of a
sociodemographic group. Furthermore, studies that divide people into groups by
education, relative income, ethnicity and gender are considered sociodemographic
studies.

In this project work, I
set out to explore the reasons why pregnant women who are characterized by some
sociological and demographical parameters would want to use drugs which have
not hitherto been prescribed for them even though there is increasing evidence
that self-medications among pregnant women can potentially be harmful to both
the fetus and expectant mother.

It is noteworthy that
in most communities, maternal-child health services coexist with traditional
indigenous health care, and pregnant women in these mostly rural areas may
choose between modern medicine, herbalists, diviners, and spiritualists for
care.

For the purposes of
this research work, my case study is the Akropong Health Centre in the Atwima
Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region. The choice of this health facility
was firstly due to the fact that I am an employee of the centre and therefore
accessing information would be relatively easier.

Secondly, I chose the
Akropong Health Centre because per experience, most pregnant women have
confessed using one medication or the other (orthodox or herbal) while they
came for prenatal care or delivery of their babies.

Moreover, the Atwima
Nwabiagya District may be considered to be somewhat rural, making it
appropriate for the selected case study.

The Atwima Nwabiagya District is
one of the thirty (30) political and administrative districts in the Ashanti Region.
It is situated in the western part of the region and shares common boundaries
with Ahafo Ano South and Atwima Mponua Districts to the
West, Offinso Municipal to the
North, Amansie–West and Atwima Kwanwoma Districts to
the South and Kumasi Metropolis and Afigya-Kwabre Districts to the
East. It covers an estimated area of 294.84 sq. km. The district capital
is Nkawie.

The district contains
over twenty health care institutions owned privately and by the government of
which the Akropong Health Centre is one owned by the government.

Wikipedia defines
Self-medication is a human behavior in which an individual uses a substance or
any exogenous influence to self-administer treatment for physical or
psychological ailments.

The most widely
self-medicated substances are over-the-counter drugs used to treat common
health issues at home, as well as dietary supplements.

Self-medication is
often seen as gaining personal independence from established medicine, and it
can be seen as a human right, implicit in, or closely related to the right to
refuse professional medical treatment.

There is increasing evidence that
self-medications among pregnant women are common in many developing countries.
A few of the studies have shown potential harmful effects on both the fetus and
mothers usually exposed to unprescribed modern medications or traditional
herbs.

Many women often feel that they can self medicate themselves on
“simple” health issues and not bother anyone else in the family or report to
the doctor.

For the purpose of this
research work, I will distribute questionnaires to pregnant women who visit the
Akropong Health Centre in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region
for prenatal care. Using these questionnaires, the sample will be interviewed
on the factors that cause them to self-medicate, the disease conditions treated
with self-medication, the most commonly self-medicated drugs (either modern or
traditional), and their knowledge of the potential effects of self-medication.

This research will also
probe if pregnant women who self-medicate do so from their own will or are
being influenced by others like family members and other relatives. Also, I
will seek to find out if traditions and cultures persuade some pregnant women
to practice self-medication.

In conclusion, I hope
my findings help the government to put in place more stringent measures and
educate expectant mothers about the effects of self-medication so as to reduce
maternal mortality which is key to achieving the Millenium Development Goals in
Ghana.

 

Problem
statement

Self medication
continues to be one of the commonest practices in Ghana. The practice becomes
more worrying when identified among pregnant women who may be oblivious to the
harm it may pose to them and their unborn babies. This research therefore will
seek to find out the reasons why pregnant women take drugs without prescription
and what factors motivate them to do so.

 

Research
objectives

1.      To
find out the factors that cause pregnant women to self-medicate.

2.      To
find out the disease conditions pregnant women treat with self-medication.

3.      To
find out the most commonly self-medicated drugs (either modern or traditional)
among pregnant women.

4.      To
find out if pregnant women know the potential effects of self-medication.

 

Methodology

·        
Study
area and population

Studies have shown that
most communities, maternal-child health services coexist with traditional
indigenous health care, and pregnant women in these mostly rural areas may
choose between modern medicine, herbalists, diviners, and spiritualists for
care. For this research work, the
Atwima Nwabiagya District was chosen because it may be considered to be
somewhat rural, making it appropriate as the selected case study.

The
sample population will be one hundred (100) pregnant women who visit the
Akropong Health Centre in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region
for prenatal care.

·        
Study
Design

In this study, survey research design
will be used to assess the sociodemographic characteristics of 100 pregnant
women and their perception with regards to the practice of self medication. The
choice of this study design is because the sampled elements and variables are
just being observed without any attempt to manipulate them. In addition,
quantitative information needs to be collated through the use of structured
questionnaires.

 

However, the downside of this
research design is that the researcher may not have sufficient information
about all the variables occurring at the time. Also, the researcher does not
have control or knowledge regarding what variables were controlled and this
makes causal statements very difficult to make.

 

·        
Sampling
Techniques

For
the purpose of the research, I will use random sampling for data collection
from the population.

 

 

 

·        
Data
collection methods and instruments

Structured
questionnaires will be randomly distributed to 100 pregnant women who visit the
Akropong Health Centre to access prenatal care. The questionnaires will be
filled at the premises of the health centre when the randomly chosen expectant
mothers visit the facility.

Data collected from the
questionnaires will be analysed, summarised, and interpreted accordingly with
the aid of descriptive statistical techniques such as total score and simple
percentage. Qualitative as well as quantitative methods will be used in the
analysis of the primary data collected. The quantitative data will be analyzed
using Microsoft Excel. The findings will be presented in the form of tables,
charts and figures.

 

·        
Ethical
considerations

All
respondents will voluntarily participate and will have the rights to withdraw
from the study at any stage if they wish to do so. Also, the consent of
respondents will be sought before including them in the survey. In addition, privacy
and anonymity or respondents will be ensured.

 

Potential
applied aspects of the study

The findings of my
research work will help the government to put in place more stringent measures
and educate expectant mothers about the effects of self-medication so as to
reduce maternal mortality which is key to achieving the Millenium Development
Goals in Ghana.

 

Plan
of work

•      Proposal
deadline – 19th January,2018

•      Submission
of questionnaires – 30th January,2018

•      Submit
1st draft of chapters 1 and 2 – 19th February,2018

•      Data
collection – 5th March,2018

•      Submit
1st draft of chapter 3 – 19th March,2018

•      Data
analysis

•      Submit
1st draft of chapter 4 – 30th March,2018

•      Submit
1st draft of chapter 5 – 7th April, 2018

•      Submit
2nd draft of entire paper – 14th April,2018

•      Submit
final draft of entire paper – 30th April,2018

 

Budget

I will spend
approximately GHC800 on this project. This will include transportation,
printing and any other minor costs.