Determinants of maternal health care services in Kenya
Maternal mortality are limiting Africa‟s development. This study explored three main indicators for maternal health status that is the antenatal care, skilled attendance at birth and postnatal care. This study has been conducted with the main objective of determining the factors influencing utilization of maternal health care services in Kenya. Hypotheses were tested at 1%, 5% and 10% significance level upon estimating the probit models on antenatal care, hospital delivery and postnatal care respectively. A national representative data (Kenya demographic and household survey-KDHS, 2008) was used. From the study result, age of the mother, secondary education, more than secondary education, birth order, richer wealth quintile, richest wealth quintile and access to information were significant factors which influence utilization of antenatal care. Hospital delivery was shown to be influenced significantly by age, primary education, secondary education, more than secondary education, birth order, residence, and all wealth indexes, access to information. On the other, primary education levels and secondary education levels were shown to be statistically significant in influencing postnatal care.Analysis across and within the models indicate that education significantly determine utilization of the three models antenatal care, hospital delivery and postnatal care whereby in all cases, it increases the usage. Similar to education, age of the mother also influences usage of Antenatal care and hospital delivery positively and significantly. Finally, the study found out that access to information positively and significantly led to increase in utilization of antenatal care and hospital delivery while birth order reduces the usage of both antenatal and hospital delivery. To improve the effectiveness of the policy, the government needs to introduce more health care facilities to maintain consumption of these services (Antenatal and hospital delivery). Since all levels of education improved utilization of these services, there is need for the government to introduce more institutions to increase knowledge and consequently knowledge on usage of these services. There is also a need for family planning among mothers which encourages the respondents to reduce the number of children born by a single mother in order to improve usage of hospital delivery.Finally, messages through other modes of communicating are important as they are shown to accelerate usage of health care services.