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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

Patterns and determinants of utilization of maternal health services: Implications for reducing maternal mortality and morbidity in South-East, Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu-campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Health Policy Research Unit, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu-campus, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
(MPH, FWACP) Benjamin S C. Uzochukwu
P.O. Box 3295, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objectives: To determine the patterns of utilization of Maternal Health Services (MHS), (antenatal clinic, delivery and post-natal services) and willingness to stay in a maternity waiting home (MWH) by women. Methods: A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect information from 393 adult women from rural and urban communities on their experiences at last pregnancy and delivery. Findings: The majority of the women used MHS, and age, educational level, parity, social class and place of residence of the women statistically significantly explained this. Long waiting hours, perceived high cost of services, lack of drugs, negative staff attitude and inaccessibility, were the common reasons given for non-utilization of MHS. Conclusion: Women use MHS when available. However, charges for MHS need to be subsidized, as many women do not use these services because they cannot afford them and MWHs should be made part of formal MHS, in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

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