C. A. Adegbenroa, Samuel Anu Olowookerea*, F. O. Fehintolaa, P. A. Adegbenrob, O. T. Oriokea
aDepartment of Community Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, IIe‑Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, bObafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile‑Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation
Objective: The objective of this study was carried out to determine the knowledge about and preventive practices against neonatal tetanus (NNT) in young women of reproductive age. Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross‑sectional study design of 380 randomly selected consenting young women of child‑bearing age at a Nigerian tertiary educational institution. They completed a semi‑structured questionnaire on knowledge about and risk factors for NNT, willingness to receive the vaccine, and uptake of tetanus toxoid vaccine. Results: The mean age (standard deviation) of the women was 22.4 (4.6) years ranging from 15 to 30 years. The majority (64.5%) had poor knowledge of the causes of and risk factors for NNT with only 31% knowing that immunizing women against tetanus prevents NNT. Most of the women (58%) were unwilling to receive tetanus immunization. A total of 15.5% had received tetanus toxoid, but only 0.5% had completed the required dosage. A higher proportion of respondents with good knowledge about tetanus had tetanus toxoid immunization (28.1% vs. 8.6%; P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Knowledge about NNT, willingness to receive the vaccine, and uptake of tetanus toxoid were unacceptably poor among respondents. There is a need for continuous education targeting young women on the link between the tetanus immunization status of women and the occurrence of NNT.
Keywords: Maternity care, Morbidity and mortality, Neonatal tetanus, Tetanus toxoid immunization