Controversies in the introduction of antenatal ultrasonography in rural Tanzania

Firth E, Mlay P, Walker R, Sill PR
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This study explored pregnant women’s beliefs, expectations and experiences of the newly introduced antenatal ultrasound service in BomaNg’ombe, Tanzania. 25 semi-structrued interview and 41 questionnaires were completed with pregnant women aged 17 years, May-June 2010. Thematic anlaysis was performed. Despite varied levels of knowledge about ultrasound, most women desired a scan. Some enjoyed seeing the baby, and several believed ultrasound would increase antenatal care (ANC) attencdance. However many over-estimated the capapcity of ultrasound. Significant fears of ultrasound being invasive, and causing disability or eeven death were als present. One-sixth of questionnaire respondents did not want a scan. Despite this, no womean had declined a scan. Numerous interviewees believed scans were obligatory. We recommend that research on attituteds towards new medical technology should be conducted at early stages, education campaigns may be necessary, as in informed consent policy is crucial to reduce fears and protect autonomy.