Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

Utilization of maternal health services by rural Hausa women in Zaria environs, northern Nigeria: has primary health care made a difference?

CL Ejembi, M Alti-Muazu, O Chirdan, HO Ezeh, S Sheidu, T Dahiru


Background: Expanding coverage, strengthening of, and increasing access and utilization of maternal health services is one of the key components of Nigeria's Primary Health Care (PHC) efforts , which was started in 1986. A descriptive study was undertaken to document the level and pattern of utilization of selected maternal health services among rural Hausa women in order to assess progress in PHC implementation.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive, quantitative study using structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on family planning, antenatal, post natal and delivery services utilization pattern from a total population of 655 currently married women in the reproductive age group in two predominantly Hausa villages in north-western Nigeria. The findings were compared with the baseline data obtained in the local government area at the start of PHC in 1986.

Results: About two-thirds of the women had heard of family planning. There were statistically significant associations between age (P<0.001), education (p<0.05), occupation (p< 0.001) and level of knowledge of contraceptive methods. However, utilization of modern contraceptives was very low, only 1.8% had ever used a method while 0.9% was using a method at the time of the study. Only 25.9% of the women had modern antenatal care during their last full term pregnancies with the mean age at booking of 6.6 months and an average of 5.4 visits throughout the pregnancy. There was a significant association between education and antenatal care uptake (p <0.05). Only 9% of their last deliveries took place in hospital while skilled attendants attended to 11% of the deliveries. The data showed a decline in most of the rates compared to the baseline data obtained for the local government at the inception of PHC.

Conclusion: Utilization of orthodox maternal health services among the rural Hausa women is abysmally low and PHC implementation has not made any appreciable impact on their maternal health services uptake.
KEY WORDS: Primary health care; Progress assessment; Maternal health services; Utilization; Rural Hausa women; Nigeria
Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health Care Vol.16(2) 2004: 47-54
AJOL African Journals Online