Alcohol consumption among pregnant women in James Town Community, Accra, Ghana
BACKGROUND Drinking alcohol in pregnancy is of a serious public health concern worldwide. Previous study in the Bosomtwe district put the prevalence of women drinking alcohol in pregnancy as 20.4%. OBJECTIVES To describe the alcohol drinking behaviour of pregnant women in the Bosomtwe district of Ghana. DESIGN The study was a descriptive cross-sectional, conducted among 397 pregnant women who attended ANC in 2010. METHOD The study was conducted in all the 10 health facilities providing reproductive health care in the Bosomtwe district using administered questionnaires. RESULTS The main findings of the study were that 20.4% of pregnant women drank alcoholic beverage of which the most preferred drink was Akpeteshie (36.4%), a locally brewed or distilled alcoholic beverage followed by the liqueurs (Ginseng, Kasapreko or-Pusher -27.3%. Study participants drank an average of 'half-tot' (15 mls) of akpeteshie and 'one-tot'-30mls-of liqueurs per a drinking session respectively. They usually drank at home and before meals. The 25-29 year group 26(32.1%), married 50(61.7%) and Junior High School educated 37(45.7%) as well as christians 69(85.0%) and traders 28(34.6%) drank most. CONCLUSIONS The findings identified akpeteshie as the most preferred alcoholic beverage among pregnant women in the district. It is recommended that the health authority creates awareness of the existence of the problem of alcohol drinking in pregnancy and its potential effects on the foetus.