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African Journal of Health Sciences

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Maternal health care utilisation in Teso District

Lawrence DE Ikamari

Abstract


This paper sets to establish the level of awareness of antenatal care, the timing of antenatal clinic visits, the level of utilisation of maternal health care, to identify the main service providers, and existing barriers to the utilisation of maternal health care in Teso District. Data and information collected in Teso District between the year 2000 and 2001 is used. Descriptive statistics are the main tools of data analysis. The results obtained indicate that most respondents in the study area are aware of the importance of antenatal care, the majority seek antenatal care but late in pregnancy and make very few antenatal visits, and that most of the childbirths take place at home mainly because of lack of access to institutionalised care; quick means of transport, inability to meet user charges and associated costs, the availability of cheap and more accessible alternative care providers such as traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and the poor quality of services offered at the local health facilities. The traditional birth attendants and nurse/midwives are the main providers of maternal health care. The obstacles to utilisation of maternal health care are manifold. The major constraints are unavailability and inaccessibility of health facilities, poverty, exorbitant user charges and associated costs, and poor services offered at the local health facilities. Reducing or removing these obstacles would result in increased utilisation of maternal health care in the study area.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol.11(1&2) 2004: 21-32



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ajhs.v11i1.30775
AJOL African Journals Online