Factors Associated with Postpartum Health Problems among Married Women of Reproductive Age in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Cross-sectional Study in Kenge City

Hocheol Lee, Ae Young So, Paul Mansiangi, Eun Woo Nam


Maternal mortality is attracting attention worldwide, but maternal health problems after delivery have received less attention. Most studies focus on prenatal maternal health problems. We aimed to identify factors associated with postpartum health problems among married women of reproductive age in Democratic Republic of the Congo. We employed a cross-sectional study design and randomly enrolled 700 married women of reproductive age in Kenge city. Data collection instrument was developed using the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. T-test, chi-square test, and binary logistic regression analysis were performed using the SPSS version 24.0. Significant risk factors associated with postpartum health problems were initial postnatal care period; within 24 hours (Odds Ratio [OR]=2.197, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [1.156–4.174], p=.016); within 7 days (OR=1.972, 95% CI: [1.102–3.528, p=.022]; within 14 days (OR=2.124, 95% CI: [1.082–4.172], p=.029) among reproductive health and health service utilization characteristics. Health education by RECO (Relais Cmunataure) was associated with postpartum health problems including PCIME (Prise en Charge Integree des Maladies de l'Enfant; OR=1.845, 95% CI: [1.038–3.282], p=.037); hand washing (OR=1.897, 95% CI: [1.060–3.396], p=.031); malaria (OR=2.003, 95% CI: [1.192–3.366], p=.009) among Maternal and Child Health intervention characteristics. In conclusion, it is necessary to develop and promote health policies and educational programs focusing on PNC service within 24 hours, PNC services within 7 days, PCIME, hand washing, prevention of malaria. (Afr J Reprod Health 2019; 23[3]: 30-41).

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