ABDOW Alio Hassan, KIKUVI Gideon


World Health Organization approximates that every year about 210 million women conceive; approximately 30 million develop complications; and 515,000 die. KDHS 2008 shows that in Kenya, more women are dying of pregnancy and childbirth related causes than was the case in 2003. In 2008, reported maternal deaths were 488 per 100,000 live births compared to 412 per 100,000 live births reported in 2003. Utilization of maternal healthcare services is low in various parts of the country. This study therefore sought to determine the level of utilization of antenatal care, skilled delivery attendants and postnatal care services at Eastleigh health centre. The specific objectives of this study were to identify the socio-demographic characteristic of the antenatal and postnatal clients in Eastleigh health centre and to identify factors that affect utilization of antenatal care, use of skilled delivery attendants and postnatal care services in Eastleigh health centre. The study design of this study was hospital based cross- sectional study. The data was collected using questionnaires. The study population included all women who are in reproductive age group residing in the selected Eastleigh Area and attending the health facility for their antenatal care services. The sample size of this study was 129 women aged 15 to 49 years who attend Eastleigh health centre for antenatal care services. Random sampling was used and a systematic interval procedure was adopted. Available information on the data collected was checked for internal consistency and completeness and it was coded and analyzed using Statistical package for Social Scientist (SPSS) and presented in Tables, charts, Graphs and interpreted by rates and proportions. The study established that most of the mothers attending Eastleigh health centre sought for antenatal care from skilled providers. However, they only sought for ANC for 2 times only. In addition, the mothers had sought for ANC when they were between 6 and 9 months pregnant. Further, most of the mothers had delivered in a healthcare facility, although a good number had delivered at home. The study also found that the factors that affect the utilization of the maternal health care services include religion, employment status, income level marital status, age, and distance to the health care centre. In order to improve access to the free maternal health care, government should put up health services as close as possible to the community where the people live. In addition, the ministry of health should ensure that all health facilities have enough essential drugs to avoid cases where women are referred drugs them from private pharmacy this contribute as a barrier to women. Further, Barriers such as long waiting time, lack of drugs, and inadequate number of staff need to be looked at by the hospital authorities so as to provide a good conducive atmosphere to the clients.

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