African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Knowledge and Perceptions of Maternal Health in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria

NN Butawa, B Tukur, H Idris, F Adiri, KD Taylor


This cross-sectional descriptive study explored knowledge and perceptions of maternal health and awareness of health services among women and men of reproductive age in rural communities in Zaria, Kaduna state Nigeria. Among the sample of 647 respondents, 72.6% of men and only 35.9% of women had received formal education. Knowledge of maternal health was very low. In a three point scale (poor, fair, good), only 3.1% of men and 1.2% of women had good knowledge of maternal health. The association between the respondents‟ educational level and their maternal health knowledge was statistically significant. Socio-economic barriers were identified as limiting this population‟s optimal utilization of maternal health services. Furthermore, some respondents‟ perceived available health care services to be of low quality. In order to improve reproductive health in rural northern Nigeria, it is imperative to improve access to formal education, increase knowledge about maternal health care, and improve the quality of care offered in health care facilities (Afr. J. Reprod. Health 2010; 14[3]: 71-76).

Key words: Maternal health, reproductive health, knowledge, perception, health care utilization, rural, northern Nigeria.

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