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Patients\' Perception Of Obstetric Practice In Calabar, Nigeria

A E Oyo-Ita
S J Etuk
B M Ikpeme
S S Ameh
E N Nsan


Objective: To determine the influence of patients\' perception of obstetric practice in Calabar on the low utilization of health facilities for delivery.

Methods: The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, the general hospital and eight private clinics in Calabar were visited daily for a period of one month to interview postnatal mothers. This was to ascertain the mothers\' perception of obstetric care in these facilities and their attitude towards some selected birth practices.

Results: All the interviewed mothers had some formal education, and 133 (92.4%) were aged 20 years and above. One hundred and forty (97.2%) of the mothers were satisfied with at least one aspect of care received. Areas of satisfaction mentioned by the mothers include attitude of health staff 114 (81.4%), clinical care received 85 (60.7%), sanitation of the facility 61 (43.6%), and basic amenities 47 (33.6%), poor sanitary condition of the health facility and lack of basic amenities were the major causes of dissatisfaction. Few mothers, 31 (22%) disagreed with dorsal position during second stage of labor. Most mothers, 92 (63.9%) would want pain relief in labor; 19 (13.2%) did not appreciate shaving of pubic hair and 50 (34.7%) felt episiotomy was not necessary for safe delivery.

Conclusion: To improve the utilization of obstetric services in Calabar, basic amenities such as water and sanitation should be provided; and there should be restriction of routine birth practices that have no evidence of effectiveness.

Keywords: Patients, obstetric practice, Calabar

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 10 (3) 2007 pp. 224-228

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eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077