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Background: Preeclampsia and eclampsia are conditions which increase maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality worldwide.
These conditions are ranked as the second leading cause of maternal deaths. Nurses have a critical role in preventing and managing preeclampsia. However, their knowledge has not been evaluated particularly among those working in primary health facilities, where opportunities for continue education is limited.
Objective: To assess knowledge on prevention and management of preeclampsia and eclampsia among nurses working in the primary health care settings.
Methods: Analysis of baseline data from an intervention study which test the effectiveness of simulation-based training on obstetric and neonatal emergencies among nurses in managing maternal and newborn emergencies in primary health care settings. A total of 39 primary health centres within 7 districts in Dodoma Region were selected to take part in the interventional study. Individual participants were nurses working in maternity units were involved. 172 nurses were selected using a simple random method. Nurses’ knowledge on prevention and management of PEE and its predictors were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics analysis was done to determine the distribution of the background characteristics of nurses and logistic regression analysis was performed to explore predictors of nurses’ knowledge
Results: Overall knowledge on preeclampsia and eclampsia was 88 (51.2%). Professional qualification was a predictor associated with a nurse’s knowledge about preeclampsia and eclampsia. Registered nurses were more knowledgeable compared to enrolled nurses (AOR3.311; CI, 1.62 to 6.768; P value =.001), years of working experience showed no association with knowledge on preeclampsia and eclampsia (AOR 0.98; CI: 0.39-2.47; P values = 0.970)
Conclusion: This study showed there is a critical knowledge deficiency in the prevention and management of preeclampsia and eclampsia among nurses working in maternal units of primary health care setting. Effective regular training on prevention and management of preeclampsia and eclampsia for frontline nurses is required in order to improve maternal and neonatal survival.