Utilization of maternal health services in rural primary health centers in Sub- Saharan Africa.

  • GA Nnaji
  • E Nwobodo
  • EA Olu
  • W Onodu
Keywords: Utilization of Maternal Health Services, Deferral and Exemption, Rural PHC, Health District, sub-Saharan Africa.


Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the utilization of available maternal health services in the remote Primary Health Centres.
Methodology: A descriptive study of the utilization of maternal health services in PHCs in rural communities in four health districts of Enugu
state using structured questionnaires and focus group discussion interview guide.
Results/Conclusions: Less than 50 percent of registered antenatal mothers actually delivered in the centres during the study period.
The factors perceived to be responsible for the poor utilization of maternal health care services include “Reassurance” of pregnant mothers that
their pregnancies were normal during antenatal care visits, hostile attitude of health workers, poverty and mode of payment. Majority of the
PHCs provided antenatal, normal delivery, and post natal services. Rural mothers lacked access to essential care services, such as induction of
labour, pre-eclampsia, manual removal of placenta and family planning.
Recommendation: It was suggested that governments make specific budgetary provision for poor indigent pregnant mothers such as Deferral
and Exemption funds established to assist poor rural pregnant women. There is need for further study on the factors responsible for the poor
utilization of delivery services at the rural PHCs.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-0388