Factors Affecting Utilization of Postnatal Care Services in Kenya

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Authors : Peter Muturi Kinuthia


Approximately 30-40% of direct maternal deaths in Africa are due to hemorrhage, mostly in the postpartum period both in the hospital and in the community levels. In sub Saharan Africa only 13 % of the mothers attend postnatal care .Adequate utilization of postnatal care can help reduce mortality and morbidity among mothers and their babies. This study was carried out in Province General Hospital Nyeri, Kenya with the objective of determining the factors affecting the utilization of postnatal services. It was a descriptive survey and convenience sampling method was used to identify the required sample population and a data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 240 women successfully completed the survey. The questionnaire generated demographic information about the mothers’ knowledge about postnatal services  awareness and demographic characteristics that were found to influence the uptake of postnatal services included age, marital status, and parity. 

Its was found that most women lacked awareness about the services given in postnatal clinic and long waiting time and cultural beliefs were among factors that affected utilization of postnatal care. From the study the utilization of the postnatal services at the hospital in 14.2% which is quite low considering the need for postnatal services. The research recommends enhanced advocacy and communication to the mothers on the need for use of postnatal services in the hospital. 


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