Opium Addiction and Poor Pregnancy Outcome among the Wancho Tribal Population, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Pregnancy outcome is a powerful indicator of the health status of its women and the quality of health care available to the community. A two-way relationship between women’s health and pregnancy outcome exists and high rates of foetal and early infant mortality are well known. The use of opium for medicinal or recreational purposes has a long history in many parts of the world and thus continues to be common. Infants born to mothers who use opiates do have impaired growth, smaller head size, and significant neuro-behavioral dysfunction due to withdrawal. This paper reports the adverse pregnancy outcome and its predictors, particularly the opium addiction among 234 married Wancho tribe of the Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Data were collected from women through a pretested questionnaire. Data reveal that a high rate of stillbirths (4.91 percent) and spontaneous abortion (6.06 percent) among addicts than the non-addicts. Pregnancy wastage is not only unwanted in itself but also has an adverse impact on women’s health and hence public health intervention is needed.