Factors contributing to low utilization of maternal health services in Kumasi

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The primary means of preventing maternal deaths is to provide and increase access to supervised delivery. A greater portion of women attend antenatal clinic yet only a few get quality of care. Previous research in many developed countries showed that underlying causes of high maternal mortality was related to women not utilizing the existing health facilities. This research was conducted to determine the factors contributing to the utilization of maternal health services in Kumasi.The study was descriptive cross- sectional which was qualitative and quantitative in approach. The data were collected from pregnant women and women with children under one year. Tools for data collection include structured interview guide and questionnaires . Information was collected on knowledge of danger signs in pregnancy among community members. Categorical variables were analyzed using EPI INFO The findings of the study revealed that health services are available and that pregnant women are attended to satisfactorily as soon as they get to the hospital. Though cost of service is expensive, few people have registered with the national health insurance scheme. Mothers in the community have a fair idea about complications of pregnancy and labour .Also mothers with education are more likely to be convinced through health education on the need to utilize maternal health care facilities. Majority of the mothers do not believe in the existence of any traditional beliefs about place of delivery but few said beliefs exist. Education on national health insurance should intensified to reach all women in their reproductive ages wherever they are. Ministry of health and Ghana health services (MOH/GIS) should organize workshops on periodic bases to educate nurses and midwives on the need for attitudinal change towards pregnant women.
A dissertation submitted to the school of graduate Studies, (knust), in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the mph degree in population and Reproductive health, 2007.