Socio-economic determinants of maternal services uptake in Kenya

  • Lawrence Ikamari
Keywords: Maternal health services, uptake, associated factors, Kenya


Kenya had relatively high early childhood and maternal mortality. Maternal health care services have shown to be an effective strategy for reducing early childhood and maternal mortality. A worldwide study carried out in 2014 found about 73% of all the 2,443,000 maternal deaths between 2003 and 2009 were due to direct obstetric causes and almost half of them occurred in Africa [5]. Infant and under-five mortality were 65 and 141 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively [12] in Kenya.

This study sought to establish the effects of socio-economic factors on the uptake of maternal health care services in Kenya.

The study used data drawn from the 2014 Kenya Demography and Health Survey (KDHS) which was a nationwide survey that used a cross-sectional research design. The survey interviewed 31,000 women of reproductive age. However, this study focused on a nationwide sample of 14,398 women aged 15-49 years who had carried a live birth within five years preceding the survey. It was guided by Andersen behavioural model. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to analyse the data.

Nearly all 14,398 women who were included in the study sought antenatal care during their most recent pregnancy. The majority of the women (67%) initiated antenatal visits during the second trimester. Region of residence, household wealth status, education, type of place of residence, and age were to be determinants of early initiation of antenatal visits. Slightly over half of the women made at least 4 antenatal visits and about 40% made between 1 and 3 visits. Education, household wealth index, and region of residence were found to be strongly associated with making at least 4 antenatal visits. About sixty per cent of all the women delivered in a health facility. Delivering in a health facility was found to be strongly associated with the mother’s education, type of place of residence, region of residence, household wealth index, maternal age, and whether or not the woman had made at least 4 antenatal visits.

There is need for concerted efforts to have the majority of women in the country initiate antenatal visits early, make at least four antenatal visits and deliver in health facilities. A statistical percentage of women were partaking antenatal care services during their last trimester.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1022-9272