Factors influencing utilization of maternal health care services: The case of Kibera informal settlement, Nairobi. county, Kenya
Muriuki, Rita Nkatha A
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This study aimed at investigating the factors that influence utilization of maternal health care services among women in Kibera Informal Settlement in Nairobi County. The Study is relevant because for Kenya to achieve the Vision 2030 on health the GoK should be able to meet MDG5 on maternal health whereby informal settlements are worst hit due to the increased risk of poor maternal outcomes among the women. The objectives of the study were to: Establish the influence of health financing on the utilization of maternal health care services among women in Kibera Informal Settlement in Nairobi County; Establish the influence of quality health services on utilization of maternal health care services among women Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi County; assess the influence of accessibility to maternal health care on the utilization of maternal health care services in Kibera Informal Settlement in Nairobi County; assess the influence of education and level of awareness on the utilization of maternal health care services among women in Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi County. The study employed a crosssectional survey design focused on the women who were the beneficiaries of the Kibera Community Health Centre health facility in Kibera. The study comprised a target population of 576 women where by stratified random sampling was used to a total of 171 women respondents. To achieve accurate and representative data, two broad data collection methods were used; secondary and primary data collection. Secondary data collection was done through desk top reviews and records found at the Kibera Community Health Centre. Primary data collection was done through administration of questionnaires to the women of reproductive age who attended the health facility on the specified days of the week for the maternal health care services.. The Major findings of this study were four factors, namely health care financing, quality of maternal health care services, accessibility, and level of awareness directly contributed towards the utilization of maternal healthcare services. If the services are affordable but of poor quality and inaccessible, the women may not seek them. Finally, unless awareness is created on the need and importance of maternal health care services, their utilization levels will be low. This study therefore recommends that the facility and other health facilities carry out more outreach activities involving all the staffs that provide maternal health care services. The Ministry of Health and other Health stakeholders should also encourage utilization of maternal health care services by the public by patnering with other community-based health centres through designed sensitization programmes in the provision of such facilities at affordable rates, and that The Ministry of Health (MoH) and county governments need to put policies in place to address the lack of quality health services in poor urban communities and the need to provide focused and sustained health education geared towards promoting use of maternal health care services.