SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS AND UTILIZATION OF HEALTHCARE FACILITIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MATERNAL MORTALITY IN URBAN AREAS OF EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

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Date

2018-03

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UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN

Abstract

In Nigeria, maternal mortality remains a social health problem as more than 140 women die daily from pregnancy - related complications. Studies have adduced a number of factors such as lack of skilled birth attendants, household income, education and distance from facilities without considering the socio-cultural factors. This study therefore investigated socio-cultural factors that may influence utilization of healthcare facilities in urban centers of Ekiti State, Nigeria. The objectives were to: (i) identify socio-cultural characteristics of pregnant women in Ekiti State; (ii) examine the level of utilization of healthcare facilities among pregnant women; (iii) assess the influence of socio-cultural factors on the utilization of healthcare facilities among pregnant women in the State; and (iv) examine the implications of this on maternal mortality. The study utilized Benerji political economy theory and Andersen’s Health-seeking behavioural model. Survey design was adopted to achieve the objectives of the study. Quantitative data were generated through the use of structured questionnaire, while qualitative data were sourced from In-depth interviews (IDIs) and key informant interviews (KIIs). With a multi-stage procedure, 100 respondents were sampled from each headquarters of the sixteen Local Government Areas in Ekiti State, totaling 1,600 respondents but only 1580 responded for the analysis. Frequency distribution was used to present the pattern of socio-cultural and behavioural characteristics of the respondents while multiple regression analysis was used to establish the relationship between the socio-cultural factors and respondents’ utilization of healthcare facilities at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study were that: i. pregnant women were between 30-39 years of age (53.4%); 45.3% have tertiary education, 64.5% were married, 63.9% were Christian, 83.8% were employed and 38.3% earn above N50,000 monthly; ii. the attendance of health care facilities showed that, 54.4% were frequent; 4.8% periodically; 8.0% occasionally; while 32.8% rarely visited the facilities; iii. socio-cultural factors influencing healthcare facilities utilization among pregnant women were: religious belief (R2 =0.628); cost of service (R2 = 0.821); efficacy of the service (R2 = 0.726); women’s working conditions (R2 = 0.182); stereotypes (R2 = 0.845) and family customs (R2 = 0.814) while marital status exhibit an inverse relationship (R2 = -0.120); iv. 78.7% of the respondents affirmed that women died during child birth due to complications that arise as a result of socio-cultural practices engaged in during pregnancy; v. majority of the women needed to get the consent of their husband before they seek health care services; and vi. majority of the women took herbs during pregnancy and did not utilize health care facilities unless they have complication. The study concluded that socio-cultural and other factors have significant influence on utilization of healthcare facilities among pregnant women in the study area with their negative consequence on maternal mortality. The study therefore recommended that; women should be educated especially on harmful cultural practices that may affect them, while there should be public enlightenment by government,religious institutions and prominent members of the community.

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Keywords

SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS, UTILIZATION, HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE FACILITIES, MATERNAL MORTALITY, URBAN AREAS, EKITI STATE

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