Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)


Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Background: Postpartum depression is an illness that affects 10-20% of mothers following delivery; the impact it has on the family, partner and the new born baby is significant. There are insufficient data in Kenya as its rate and severity hence the impact is unknown. Screening could allow earlier treatment of these mothers and prevent the long term effects on the family. Objectives: The primary objective was to identify the prevalence of postpartum depression at the Aga Khan University Hospital and to identify associations between participant’s socio demographics and depression.

Methods: Cross sectional study to screen postpartum women six weeks after delivery using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Participants were recruited using consecutive sampling from the postpartum clinics, six weeks after delivery at the Aga Khan University Hospital from October 2010 to May 2011.

Analysis: Point estimate of the disorder using results from the screening tool and the identification of patient characteristics potentially associated with the disorder.

Results: 195 participants were recruited, 181 were eligible for analysis in whom a prevalence of 13.8% (95% CI: 8.8 to 18.8) was estimated. Among the patient characteristics assessed for potential associations; the neonatal sex reached statistical significance with a P value of 0.014.

Conclusion & recommendations: The prevalence of postpartum depression is 13.8% among women at the Aga Khan university Hospital postpartum clinic. We therefore recommend the introduction of regular screening to identify affected mothers to avert the adverse effects that may be associated with the condition.