Background and aim: Evidence in the literature indicates that maternal health care by a skilled birth attendant is one of the key strategies for maternal survival. However, the rate of maternity care utilization and reduction of maternal death is very low in Nigeria. This study was designed to explored factors influencing women utilization of maternal and prenatal care in Nigeria. Hence, the need to understand factors that serves as barriers to accessing maternal and prenatal care in Nigeria using the Socio-ecological Model (SEM).
Methods: A mixed method was employed for this study. Data collection used questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Questionnaires were distributed to 330 respondents of which 318 of them were retrieved and qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted for 6 participants. The study was conducted in one of the tertiary health facilities in Nigeria, amongst mothers aged 15-45 years. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in analyzing the quantitative data whilst a qualitative content analysis was done for the qualitative data.
Results: The study established that education, income level, costs associated with seeking care, distance and time taken to travel were significantly associated with maternity health care services utilization. The study concludes that; costs of treatment, distance and time, income level, staff attitude and women’s autonomy were critical in determining women utilization of maternity care services.
Mandu Stephen Ekpenyong, Carol Bond and David Matheson
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