Patterns Of Utilization Of Maternal Healthcare Services In Korogocho Slums, Nairobi, Kenya
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Maternal mortality is a grave concern in Africa. In 2015, sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for approximately 66% of all maternal deaths worldwide. Studies have however established that maternal mortality can be prevented if a woman receives maternal healthcare services (MHS) from a skilled healthcare practitioner during pregnancy, delivery and the post-partum period. In addition, seeking help from a skilled healthcare practitioner at the onset of any complications during and after pregnancy also drastically reduces the risk of maternal death. In view of this, many governments in developing countries, Kenya included, have implemented interventions to improve availability, accessibility and quality of MHS. The aforementioned notwithstanding, utilization of MHS remains low in developing countries, especially in marginalized communities like the urban poor who reside in informal settlements. This study sought to investigate the patterns of utilization of MHS in the Korogocho informal settlement, in Nairobi city, Kenya. The study sought to establish the patterns of utilization of ANC and PNC services, examine the patterns of health facility delivery, and assess the patterns of consultation of skilled providers for obstetric complications. The target population comprised of all women aged between 18 and 49 years, who had delivered in the twelve months preceding data collection. Data was collected through a questionnaire that was administered to 512 respondents; key informant interviews with 38 maternal healthcare practitioners, and focus group discussions. The study found that while 90% of the respondents made at least one ANC visit, only 40% made four or more visits as recommended by WHO. Furthermore, approximately 14% of the subjects delivered at home. In addition, only 41% of the respondents received PNC care from a skilled provider within one week of delivery. The+ study therefore concluded that utilization of MHS in the study area is relatively low. The study recommends that the ministry of health at both the county and national governments should conduct targeted awareness campaigns in the study area in order to improve the uptake of MHS.
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