INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to assess knowledge and practices of general practitioners, nurses and midwives working at primary health care facilities in Morocco regarding screening and management of gestational diabetes (GDM).
METHODS: Structured interviews with 100 doctors, midwives and nurses at 44 randomly selected public health care centers were conducted in Marrakech and Al Haouz. All data were descriptively analyzed. Ethical approval for the study was granted by the institutional review boards in Belgium and Morocco.
RESULTS: Public primary health care providers have a basic understanding of gestational diabetes but screening and management practices are not uniform. Although 56.8% of the doctors had some pre-service training on gestational diabetes, most nurses and midwives lack such training. After diagnosing GDM, 88.5% of providers refer patients to specialists, only 11.5% treat them as outpatients.
DISCUSSION: Updating knowledge and skills of providers through both pre- and in-service-training needs to be supported by uniform national standards enabling first line health care workers to manage women with GDM and thus increase access and provide a continuity in care. Findings of this study will be used to pilot a model of GDM screening and initial management through the primary level of care.
- Gestational diabetes
- Maternal health
- North Africa