Awareness of periconceptional folic acid supplementation among Nepalese women of childbearing age: A cross-sectional study

P. Paudel, K. Wing*, S. K. Silpakar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: Maternal folate deficiency is associated with neural tube defects (NTDs), the most common congenital birth defect at Maternity Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal. NTDs can be prevented with periconceptional folic acid supplementation (FAS). This study was performed to assess the awareness of FAS among women of reproductive age in Kathmandu. Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 400 randomly selected patients aged 15 to 45. years visiting Kathmandu Model Hospital from May to July 2011, seeking any awareness of FAS, knowledge of its impact on fetal development and knowledge of the appropriate time of supplementation. Results: Forty percent (95% CI 35.1-45.0) of women had heard about FAS, 16.3% (95% CI 12.8-20.2) knew that folate affects fetal health and 5.0% (95% CI 3.1-7.6) knew that it should be taken pre-pregnancy. Level of education was strongly associated with awareness (multivariate Odds Ratio for lowest vs. highest level of education: 0.29, 95% CI 0.15-0.56). Conclusions: Knowledge of FAS is very low among women of childbearing age in Kathmandu. Inclusion of FAS information in health awareness programs is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-513
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume55
Issue number5
Early online date10 Sept 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Awareness
  • Folic acid
  • Nepal
  • Neural tube defects
  • Pregnancy

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