Low use of skilled attendants' delivery services in rural Kenya.
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The aim of the study was to estimate the use of skilled attendants' delivery services among users of antenatal care and the coverage of skilled attendants' delivery services in the general population in Kikoneni location, Kenya. Data collected from the registers at the Kikoneni Health Centre (KHC) from March 2001 through March 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Antenatal care attendance, deliveries by skilled attendants, and the percentage of antenatal care attendees who delivered in a healthcare facility were assessed. Deliveries at the KHC were compared with expected births in the population to estimate the coverage of deliveries assisted by skilled attendants in the community. Of 994 women who attended the antenatal care clinic, 74 (7.4%) presented for delivery services. 5.4% of expected births in the population occurred in health facilities. The coverage of deliveries assisted by skilled attendants was far below the national and international goals. The use of institutional delivery services was very low even among antenatal care attendees. Targeted programmatic efforts are necessary to increase skilled attendant-assisted births, with the ultimate goal of reducing maternal mortality.