Attitude of women towards private and public hospitals for obstetric care in South-East Nigeria: Implications for maternal mortality reduction
AbstractBackground: The privately owned hospitals play key roles in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
Objective: To determine the attitude of women towards private and public hospitals in accessing obstetric care in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria and evaluate its implications for maternal mortality reduction efforts in the country.
Methodology: A cross sectional survey of 400 market women using semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions.
Results: Majority of the women (72.1%) attended antenatal clinic in their last pregnancy in private hospitals while only 17.8% of them received antenatal care in government hospitals. Twenty-five (6.3%) of the women had antenatal care in maternity homes, and most of the respondents (72.8%) had their last deliveries in private hospitals. Equal numbers of them (36.4% each), delivered at the private specialist hospitals and private general practice hospitals, respectively. Only sixty-two (15.6%) of the respondents delivered in the government hospitals, while 37(9.3%) delivered in the maternity homes. Majority (79.4%) would prefer to deliver in the private hospitals in their next confinement while 14.1% would prefer government hospitals. The major reasons for choosing a particular hospital over the others included the friendly attitude of the health workers (33.9%), availability of attending staff at all times (27.4%) and proximity of the facility to their homes (14.6%).
Conclusion: Most women in Nnewi prefer to have antenatal care and delivery in private hospitals rather than in public hospitals. Thus, private hospitals should be included in maternal mortality reduction efforts in this part of the country so as to achieve the desired results.