Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Utilization of Maternal Health Services in Urban and Rural Communities of Anambra State, Nigeria

POU Adogu, BN Egenti, C Ubajaka, C Onwasigwe, CC Nnebue


OBJECTIVE: This study determined and compared the level and pattern of utilization of maternal services in urban and rural communities in Anambra State.
DESIGN AND METHOD: A comparative cross-sectional study was carried out in two local government areas (LGA); Nnewi North (urban) and Dunukofia (rural). A total of 338 mothers of children aged 0-59 months in each of the two LGAs selected by multistage cluster sampling technique were studied. Data were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire, analyzed and tests of significance performed with the p-value set at 0.05.
RESULTS: Women in the rural area had higher fertility rate (t=4.53,  p<0.05) and more children than their urban counterparts (t=4.79, p<0.05). The mean number of antenatal care (ANC) before delivery in urban and rural areas were 8.0±4.2 and 5.9±2.4 respectively and the difference was statistically significant (t = 7.52, p <0.05). Half of the urban respondents delivered in private hospitals while 43.8% of rural respondents delivered in maternity homes. There was no significant difference in the pattern of post natal care utilization in both localities (÷2=0.695, p=0.405), as most of the women in both localities went for post natal consultation within 6 weeks of delivery.
CONCLUSION: Measures to improve maternal health service utilization especially in rural areas should not only address the issue of access to care, but also improvement in quality of care and women empowerment.

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