Determinants of equity in utilization of maternal health services in Butajira, Southern Ethiopia
AbstractBackground: Equity in public health implies that ideally everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain a full health potential and no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential. The health policy of Ethiopia emphasizes universal access for all segments of population. This study was done to assess the determinants of equity in the provision and utilization of primary maternal health care services in Meskan and Mareko Woredas, Southern Ethiopia.
Methods: The study is community-based, case control study among 190 randomly selected cases [households with pregnant mothers who received at least one Antenatal Care (ANC) visit from a health facility and 191 controls [households with pregnant mothers who did not received ANC from a health facility] in Butajira Rural Health Program site of Meskan and Mareko Woredas.
Results: Among all socio-demographic and socio-economic factors assessed to be determinants of utilization of maternal health services, only place of residence (being an urban (X2=9.96, p<0.01)), average annual income level of more than 1000 birr (X2=6.67, p<0.05), mothers having some education (X2=8.57, p<0.05), and walking distance from a health facility <1hour (X2=4.96, p<0.05), were significantly associated with being able to receive ANC during pregnancy as confirmed by the review of health services records.
Conclusion: This study revealed that place of residence, average annual income, mothers’ education, distance from a health facility were determinants in the utilization public health programs. Providing outreach services for people in low utilization areas and enhancing awareness for utilization of maternal and child health services are recommended.