Factors Influencing the Utilisation of Maternal Health Services: The Perspective of Rural Women in Ghana
Maternal mortality is a global issue and WHO recommends the use of maternal health services to help improve the health of women and babies during pregnancy and childbirth. Considering global and national interest in improving maternal health and the fact that Ghana is still battling with reducing maternal mortality, understanding the factors affecting the use of maternal services in rural areas is crucial as the women are seen as more vulnerable due to inequity issues. This study sets to examine the factors that influence the utilisation of antenatal and delivery services among rural women in Ghana, focusing on individual and area factors. A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in three rural communities using Akuapim North District of Ghana as a case study.. The study adopted the quantitative approach. Structured interviews were used in data collection with the help of interview schedules. Two hundred and ninety-six (296) respondents were sampled using both probability and non probability techniques. Findings reveal that the use of the MHS is inadequate in relation to the WHO standards. Individual characteristics such as age, marital status and family size and the cost and time taken to a health facility were significantly associated with all the maternal health outcomes. Poor access to vehicles hindered women from delivery in a health institution and getting assistance from trained medical personnels. However, no significant association was established between education of respondents and the maternal health outcomes. It is recommended that the Ministry of Health engages in inter-sectoral collaboration to help ensure health equity.Effective integration of TBAs in providing care is needed to help improve utilisation of maternal services in rural areas
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