A survey of 789 mothers in the Jimma Zone of Ethiopia explored predictors of delivery in a health facility. It found that husbands are a positive influence on delivery in a health facility.
- When husbands have a positive attitude towards birth in a health facility, women are ten times more likely to do so.
- When husbands are involved in decision-making, the women are 31 times more likely to make follow-up antenatal appointments. When husbands make the decision alone, the women are 15 times more likely to make follow-up antenatal appointments. However, because of the small numbers of women saying that husbands are not involved in decision-making, these high ratios are probably artefacts.
The influence of the husband’s positive attitude was found to bigger than other predictors measured. For example, a mother who hears information on the radio is 2.5 times more likely to make follow-up antenatal visits (but no more likely to give birth in a health facility).
In supplementary interviews with health professionals, concern was expressed about the attitude of fathers towards long-term use of contraceptives. Those interviewed made recommendations for improving access to facilities and addressing the problem of long distances to health facilities. (Women living less than 30 minutes from a health facility were 1.5 times more likely to attend than those living more than 60 minutes away.)
The rate of institutional delivery among the women in this sample was 77%. 74% started antenatal care late and 48% completed four antenatal visits.
Dadi LS et al (2019), Maternal and newborn health services utilization in Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia: A community based cross-sectional study, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 19
Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia. Creative Commons.