Perceptions of male partner involvement in antenatal care among pregnant women and nurses at a Sub-county Referral Hospital in Kenya
Men are important personalities in the family. They play great roles such as being breadwinners and decision- makers.They influence greatly on women's access to maternal health services. The study sought to gain an understanding of male involvement in that study area through focused group discussions among the pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic.
To determine the perception of pregnant women and nurses on male partner involvement in antenatal care.
The study was facility- based and adopted an exploratory qualitative approach. Three focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted consisting of 6-8 participants each and lasting 20-30 minutes. Three key informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted among three nurses working at the antenatal clinic, each lasting for 20-30 minutes. The data was audio-recorded in Kiswahili and later transcribed verbatim then translated to English.
The following themes emerged from the FGDs: low male involvement, positive view of men involved and being busy at work as the main factor for non-accompaniment. The themes emerging from the KIIs were; positive attitude towards male involvement, long waiting time at the antenatal clinic as the main reason for low male involvement.
Most men were not involved in antenatal care. They cited unfriendly antenatal clinic environment such as crowded facilities with limited seats. Being busy at work and the long waiting hours at the centres was a major concern.
Motivate more men to participate in antenatal care by prioritizing couples attending the
clinic. Educate both women and men on the need for male partner involvement in antenatal care.