Community And Institutional Factors Influencing Access To Antenatal Health Care Services By Maasai Women In Isinya, Kajiado County
The study sought to investigate the community and socio-economic factors affecting access to antenatal healthcare services in Isinya, Kajiado County. Guided by Reasoned Action Theory, the study employed a mixed method approach where qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used. A sample of 100 participants were selected for survey while 3 focus group discussion and key informants were used to collect qualitative data. Quantitative data analysis was done using SPSS and presented in charts and figures. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings indicated that community (cultural), socio-economic and institutional factors affect access and uptake of antenatal care by women. Cultural beliefs on Traditional Birth Attendants, gender power balance, education, financial constraints, and religion form a set of community and socio-economic factors affecting women’s access and uptake of antenatal healthcare services. Institutional factors such as availability of health centers, clinic staffing, and provider-client relationship also influence access to antenatal care services. The study concludes that these factors pose barriers or enhance women’s access to antenatal healthcare services depending on how they are juxtaposed. Thus, it is recommended that the factors that limit access such as poor provider-client relationship, negative cultural beliefs, low knowledge level, gender power differences, and shortage of staff need to be addressed through awareness creation, increasing clinic staffing, and community-based support systems.
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