Utilisation of maternity services by black women in rural and urban areas of the Orange Free State

  • H. S. Cronje
  • G. Joubert
  • R. D. Chaprnan
  • B. de Winnaar
  • R. H. Barn


An epidemiological survey was undertaken to evaluate the utilisation of maternal services for black women in the Orange Free State. Two hundred and forty clusters were selected from the rural (farms) and urban (local authorities) black population and eight households were interviewed in each cluster. Information was gathered from 237 rural women (from 959 households) and 168 urban women (from 926 households) who had delivered a baby or aborted during the preceding year. Antenatal care was received by 71 % of the rural women and 87% of the urban women. Rural women delivered at home in 60% of cases while 37% delivered in hospitals. Only 23% of urban women delivered at home while 67% of their deliveries were conducted in hospitals. Nurses supervised deliveries in both instances in more than 60% of cases, but in rural areas traditional midwives managed 26% of the confinements. The conclusions are that the maternity service was largely provided by nurses and was predominantly limited to hospitals and homes. It is recommended that the quality of service be upgraded and more emphasis placed on midwife obstetric units.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135