Utilization of Maternal Health Services: A Study of Two Rural Communities in North-Eastern Nigeria
Keywords: Utilization, Maternal Health Services, North Eastern Nigeria, Male Involvement
AbstractBackground: Utilization of Maternal Health services in sub Saharan Africa is low and has direct bearing on maternal morbidity and mortality. This study examined utilization and factors affecting the utilization of maternal health services in two rural communities in North Eastern Nigeria.
Methodology: Data was collected using both qualitative and quantitative methods. A total of 390 women within the reproductive age group were selected to participate in the study using multistage sampling method. Qualitative data was collected using Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews with Household heads, men and women of reproductive age, health care workers, traditional birth attendants as well as religious and community leaders.
Results: Knowledge of components and benefits of Maternal Health service was found to be high. However, utilization of these services, especially delivery 40(10.3%) and post natal 101 (26.2%) services was low; 31(8%) of the respondents have ever used any form of modern contraceptives. Knowledge of Maternal Health services and husbands' educational attainment were found to be statistically significantly associated (P value= <0.001)with The likelihood of having a skilled attendant at birth.
Conclusion: Males who were the final decision makers at a household level, perceived pregnancy and delivery as a normal event with little or no risk associated. They could not mention the danger signs in pregnancy and delivery. Glaring is the need to find innovative ways of improving female education, involving males and communities in maternal health.
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