Choice of a place of delivery among women in Kenya
Maternal mortality rates in Kenya increased from 365/100, 000 live births in 1993 to 488/100,000 live births in 2008. Use of health facilities during delivery is important in the reduction of maternal mortality rates, but the proportion of deliveries taking place in health facilities has remained below 50% for the last two decades notwithstanding the global and national policy initiatives on maternal health. Little is known about what influences the women’s choice of place of delivery. This study uses the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2008-09 data to investigate what influences the choice of health provider during delivery among women in Kenya. The multinomial logit model used to identify the factors that influence the type of health facility choice was estimated using Statasoftware. Results show that, women with highest level of education, those from richest wealth index and married women were more likely to deliver in private health facilities. Women with secondary level of education and those from middle wealth index were more likely to deliver in public health facilities. The policy implication of this finding is that health inputs like antenatal care during pregnancy should be encouraged. Information programmes are needed to inform women on the potential risks associated with home delivery as well as the importance of institutional delivery.