Choice of maternal care provider in Kenya
A study investigating a combination of both socio-economic and women decision making variables and their relationship with maternal care services in Kenya brings a different front in attempting to establish the cause of poor use of maternal care services and recommend policies that will reduce maternal mortality in Kenya. We fitted a multinomial logit model to analyze how socio economic such as women’s education level, husband’s education level, mother’s age at first birth, age category, residence, religion, work status and income levels and women autonomy variables (final say on woman’s own healthcare, large household purchases, daily household purchases, family visits and control of finances) influence the preferred place of delivery for women. We used data obtained from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008/09. Among the socio-economic variables analyzed, both husband’s and women’s education level was found to be a significant contributor to use of health facilities for delivery, similar to being rich and living in urban areas, whereas living in rural areas and higher parity reduce the probability of seeking maternal care services in health facilities. The study concluded that decision making empowerment for women of reproductive age will be necessary if maternal mortality rate is to be reduced, especially decision making on purchase of large household items and use of family financial resources.