Demand for maternal health services: analysis of antenatal care services in the rift valley region, Kenya
Chepkwony, Richard K
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This study investigates the factors that determine the demand of maternal health care services in the Rift Valley region with a specific focus on antenatal care services (ANC). The 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey Data is used while the logit model is employed to analyze demand. The special focus on antenatal care is based on established evidence that proper antenatal care has a significant effect on the outcome of pregnancy and consequently affects the health of the mothers and their babies. Moreover, the government of Kenya in June 2013 introduced a policy of free maternity services in all public facilities which when added to free ANC and family planning services has lead to a drastic reduction in out of pocket payments for maternal care services. Consequently, a study on determinants of demand and utilization of services is imperative. A binary logistic regression in Stata with ANC attendance as the dependent variable indicates that mother’s age, education level, religion and birth order are significant predictors of ANC attendance in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.The findings of this study indicate that policies should be put in place to target increased enrolment of the girl child in schools, increase retention and transition through the education system. Moreover, maternal health services will benefit from targeted health message policies which will help in dispelling myths and practices that hamper use of maternal health services.