Determinants of Male Involvement in Birth Preparedness among Married Men in Two Communities of Rural Northern Nigeria
Background: In rural communities where men have power to determine what their wives do or fail to do, male involvement in birth preparedness reduces the delays that commonly lead to maternal and perinatal deaths. We conducted a cross-sectional study to identify determinants of male involvement in birth preparedness in two rural northern Nigerian communities.
Methodology: A total of 411 married men selected through multi-stage sampling were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Association between variables was assessed using bivariate and multivariate analyses at p<0.05. Additional information was obtained through focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs).
Results: Male involvement in birth preparedness was low (6.6%). Of the birth preparedness indices, saving money (26.5%) was the commonest while prior arrangement for means of getting safe blood (2.4%) was the least common. On bivariate analysis, male involvement in birth preparedness was significantly associated with the husband's age (p=0.016), number of living children (p=0.003), and husband's income relative to that of wife (p=0.004). On multivariate analysis, male involvement in birth preparedness was independently associated with husband earning less than or equal to his wife (aOR= 2.856, 95% CI=1.280-6.369). FGDs and KIIs suggested that religious misconception and low economic status of women contributed to low male involvement in birth preparedness.
Conclusion: Level of male involvement in birth preparedness is unacceptably low. It is recommended that efforts to improve male involvement in birth preparedness in such communities need to start empowering women economically and addressing religious misconceptions about birth preparedness.
Keywords: Male Involvement, Birth Preparedness, Religion, Rural, Nigeria