JOURNAL ARTICLE

Determinants of maternal health care utilization in Holeta town, central Ethiopia

Kidist Birmeta, Yohannes Dibaba, Desalegn Woldeyohannes
BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13: 256
23822155

BACKGROUND: In developing countries a large number of women are dying due to factors related to pregnancy and child birth. Implementing and assuring utilization of maternal health care services is potentially one of the most effective health interventions for preventing maternal morbidity and mortality. However, in Ethiopia the utilization of maternal health care is low.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 20 to February 20, 2012 in Holeta town, central Ethiopia, to assess the determinants of maternal health care utilization among women who had given birth in the past three years prior to the survey. Structured questionnaire and focus group discussion guides were used for data collection. Data were collected from a sample of 422 women in the town. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted. Statistical tests were done at a level of significance of p<0.05.

RESULTS: The study revealed that 87% of the women had at least one antenatal visit during their last pregnancy. Among the antenatal service users, 33.7% had less than four antenatal visits. More than half of the antenatal care (ANC) attendants made their first visit during their second and third trimester of pregnancy although WHO recommended ANC should be started at the first trimester of the pregnancy. There was a significant association (P<0.05) between ANC attendance and some demographic, socio-economic and health related factors (age at last birth, literacy status of women, average monthly family income, media exposure, attitude towards pregnancy, knowledge on danger signs of pregnancy and presence of husband approval on ANC). The study also revealed that about 61.6% of the women had given birth in the health institutions. Parity, literacy status of women, average monthly family income, media exposure, decision where to give birth, perception of distance to health institutions (HI) and ANC attendance were found to be significantly associated (P<0.05) with delivery care (DC) attendance.

CONCLUSIONS: The utilization of ANC and DC service is inadequate in the town. The utilization of ANC and DC were influenced by demographic, socio-economic and health related factors. Improving the status of women by expanding educational opportunities, strengthening promotion of antenatal and delivery care by enhancing community awareness about the importance of ANC and DC are recommended.

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