Abstract: Background and objective:
Malaria in pregnancy contributes hugely to feto-maternal morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. Risk of suffering from complications of malaria in pregnancy is lower among parturient that practice preventive measures. To determine the knowledge and practice of malaria prevention among pregnant women in rural and urban areas and barriers to utilization of maternal health services among unbooked women in Cross River State.
Material and method: This was a prospective analysis of 440 pregnant women in rural and urban settings on the knowledge, effects and prevention practices.
Result: Total of 56.4% urban respondent had good knowledge of causes of malaria while rural respondents were only 49.5%. Booked pregnant women exhibited significant higher knowledge of causes and effect of malaria in pregnancy than their unbooked counterparts in both urban and rural areas. The practice of use of insecticide treated nets was higher among urban women (62.8%) than the rural women (33.2%).
Conclusion: There is high prevalence of poor knowledge and practice of malaria preventive measures among pregnant women mostly in rural area and unbooked women. Cost of transportation and previous unpleasant hospital experience were the commonest barriers to utilization of maternal health services among unbooked urban and rural respondents.