Barriers to the Utilisation of Skilled Birth Care Services Provided by Healthcare Professionals in Bongo District, Ghana
Maternal mortality rates are still alarmingly high in
Sub-Saharan Africa. Skilled
delivery care during childbirth is the most critical intervention for improving
Despite the importance of skilled delivery services, performance of skilled
delivery care is still low in the Bongo District. The researcher, being an
indigene of this district, and a professional nurse, observed that skilled
birth care during pregnancy, labour and childbirth has been low within the
Bongo community and its environs. The study aimed at determining the barriers
to utilisation of skilled birth care services provided by healthcare
professional from the perspective of mothers in the Bongo District of Upper
East Region of Ghana. A descriptive
study with cross-sectional design of 610 mothers, selected through simple
random sampling technique was conducted. Data were collected using a structured
questionnaire, and analysed using SPSS statistics. The study identified women’s
age; education; marital status; religion; husband’s education; parity and
health insurance status as the socio-demographic characteristics of women that
were significantly associated with utilisation or non-utilisation of skilled
delivery services. The study also identified lack of money to pay for
transportation and cost of treatment; poor quality of services and poor
attitudes of health personnel;
availability and influence of TBAs; long distance and lack
of means of transportation; and cultural reasons as the major barriers to the
utilisation of skilled delivery services.
The recommendations emerging from the study reinforce the importance of skilled
attendants’ awareness regarding attitude, and the need for development of
interpersonal communication skills into education and training that women are
treated with respect, understanding and dignity. It is also recommended that
midwives and other skilled attendants in deprived areas should reorient their
caring practices to more culturally appropriate and evidenced- based maternity
care. Further research on women’s experiences of care received, and health care
delivery in rural areas is needed.
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