Factors influencing utilization of maternal health care services in Kenya
Tanui, Sammy K
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This study sort to investigate the factors associated with utilization of maternal health care services among women of reproductive ages in Kenya. The. study variables were; type of place of residence, region of residence, mother's educational level, exposure to mass media (Radio and television), marital status, ethnic background, age of the mother and the birth interval. The dependent variables were place of delivery, timing of the 1st ANC visit and assistance by skilled provider during delivery. The study utilized data from the KDHS 2003, this was a national representative where 8,195 women were interviewed however this study used data of 5,949 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who had last birth in the last five years. Of those who had given birth, 3466 had visited ANC during their pregnancy while 2483 did not visit or report visiting ANC. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions were the methods used for analysis. The key findings of this study provides evidence that type of place of residence, educational level, ethnicity, preceding birth interval, region of residence and exposure to mass media were factors associated with utilization of maternal health care services among women of reproductive ages. Major implications emanating from this study include, need to put up targeted interventions to improve utilization of maternal services that are specific to regional needs, the need to target negative cultural behaviors hindering women's decision to utilize maternal health care services. The study was very important in overcoming barriers that hinder skilled delivery and improving communication networks and accessibility that would accelerate the achievements of the National Health Sector Strategic plan (NHSSP) target.