Knowledge of front-line health workers on the role of urethral catheterization for primary prevention of obstetric fistula in Ibadan, Nigeria

Oluwasomodoyin Olukemi Bello, Imran Oludare Morhason-Bello, Olatunji O. Lawal, Rukayat Adeola Abdussalam, Oladosu Akanbi Ojengbede


Background: Obstetric fistula (OF), a preventable debilitating condition is mostly caused by prolonged obstructed labour (POL). The aim of bladder catheterization is to allow for healing process by preventing tension to adjoining tissues and improve blood supply. This study assessed the knowledge of catheterization in the prevention of OF among health workers in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional study among 147 health workers providing obstetric care in the labour and post-delivery wards using a self-administered questionnaire in 10 selected primary health centres was conducted. The knowledge of catheterization for primary prevention of OF was assessed on a three-point scale. Data was analysed using SPSS version 20. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between health workers socio-demographics and professional characteristics and their knowledge of catheterization for OF prevention.
Results: The mean age of participants was 41.6 (SD =8.9) years. Fifty-six (38.1%) of the participants had good knowledge of catheterization for OF prevention. Higher proportion (41.3%) of registered nurses and/or midwives had good knowledge of catheterization for OF prevention compared to those who attended school of hygiene. Health workers who had practiced for between 7–9 years were about seven times more likely to have good knowledge of catheterization compared to those who had worked for less than 3 years (OR =6.929, 95% CI, 1.755–27.357).
Conclusions: Majority of health workers had poor knowledge of catheterization in OF prevention. There is need for training and re-training of health workers in primary health care centres (PHC) on the vital role of bladder catheterization following prolonged/obstructed labour so as to reduce the burden of OF.