Moore BM, Alex-Hart BA, George IO
Poor utilization of health facilities during delivery by pregnant mothers is still a major cause of maternal and childhood morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to determine the level of utilization of health care services by pregnant women during delivery in Gokana Local Government Area of River State, Nigeria. This was a cross-sectional, questionnaire; based study involving 112 mothers aged 15 years to 49 years from Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. The local Government Area has 12 health centres and 6 health centres were selected by multistage sampling.112 were then selected by simple random sampling. Of the 112 mothers interviewed 91(81.3%) were married, 13(11.6%) were single, 5(4.5%) were widows, 2(1.8%) divorced and 1(0.9%) separated. Ninety seven (86.6%) of these mothers (n=112) had formal education while 15 (13.4%) had no formal education. Most 42(37.5%) of the mothers were between 25-29 years. Sixty four (57.1%) of the 112 mothers in their recent delivery used a health facility while 48(42.9%) did not. Factors responsible for non utilization of health facility for delivery include: Long distance to health facility 33(68.7%), onset of labour at night 40(83.3%), unavailability of means of transportation 37(77.1%), Lack of money for transportation 26(54.2%), unsatisfactory services at health facility 26(54.2%), unfriendly attitude of staff of the health facility 34(70.8%), unavailability of staff at health facility 32(64.0%), lack of urgency at health facility 36(75.0%), previous uneventful delivery at the health facility 32(66.7%). Utilization of health care services during delivery in Nigeria is still poor. Concerted efforts should be made both at community and Government levels to improve utilization of health facility during delivery. This will go a long way in reducing maternal and child mortality.
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