Influence of community empowerment programs initiatives on maternal mortality: The case of Ngaremara ward, Isiolo county,Kenya
This research study sought to determine the effectiveness of community empowerment programs in promoting maternal health as well as barriers hindering expectant mothers from seeking available services from the health centers. The target population was 3556 people aged between 13-49 years in Isiolo central. The study adopted descriptive design and a representative sample of 46 stakeholders were selected as the study respondents. A total of 20 community members visiting 2 randomly chosen health centers were sampled and exit interviews conducted. 6 health service providers were also interviewed. Two focus groups comprising of 10 people each were held with community health workers and mothers who had delivered their babies at the available health centers. In-depth interviews were held with 10 Key informants to give detailed information and insights regarding the area of study. Data was collected by use of administered questionnaires. In depth interviews and focus groups discussions were conducted using informant guides. Editing of the completed questionnaires was done before coding process. The Structured and Unstructured questionnaires were coded and overall data processing done using Statistical Package Social Sciences SPSS. Grouping and coding of data was done to enable processing and tabulation. Frequencies were run and tabulation done for analysis of the responses. Multiple responses were also processed and integrated in analysis. Triangulation was done and data presented using tables and percentages. Percentages and table numbers were used for describing differences between variables. For qualitative data, detailed narrative was used to summarize data. The study established that cultural beliefs and practices, social and family support has greater influence to the uptake of sexual reproductive health services offered at the health centers in Isiolo County. Level of education and knowledge on MCH and SRH services, level of income and accessibility to health centers as well as support offered by men to their spouses in MCH, contribute the least to uptake of MCH services at the health centers. This study recommends that the government of Kenya, Nongovernmental organization, community based organization and other entities involved to do more sensitization and awareness creation on MCH services among community members in Isiolo county as well as increase and equip the health centers in the region. Male involvement campaign led by local leaders will also boost the support obtained by women from their spouses in seeking health services. The study recommends a further research on the challenges faced by peer educators and CHW in mobilization for MCH service uptake.