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      Why Do Women Deliver at Home? Multilevel Modeling of Ethiopian National Demographic and Health Survey Data

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          Despite of the existing intensive efforts to improve maternal health in Ethiopia, the proportion of birth delivered at home remains high and is still the top priority among the national health threats.


          The study aimed to examine effects of individual women and community-level factors of women’s decision on place of delivery in Ethiopia.


          Data were obtained from the nationally representative 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) which used a two-stage cluster sampling design with rural-urban and regions as strata. The EDHS collected data from a big sample size but our study focused on a sample of 7,908 women whose most recent birth was within five years preceding 2011 and 576 communities in which the women were living in. The data were analyzed using a two-level mixed-effects logistic regression to determine fixed-effects of individual- and community-level factors and random-intercept of between-cluster characteristics.


          In the current study, 6980 out of 7908 deliveries (88.3%) took place at home. Lower educational levels (OR=2.74, 95%CI:1.84,4.70; p<0.0001), making no or only a limited number of ANC visits (OR=3.72,95%CI:2.85, 4.83; p<0.0001), non-exposure to media (OR=1.51, 95%CI 1.13, 2.01; p=0.004), higher parity (OR=2.68, 95%CI:1.96,3.68; p<0.0001), and perceived distance problem to reach health facilities (OR=1.29, 95%CI:1.03,1.62; p=0.022) were positively associated with home delivery. About 75% of the total variance in the odds of giving birth at home was accounted for the between-community differences of characteristics (ICC=0.75, p<0.0001). With regard to community-level characteristics, rural communities (OR=4.67, 95%CI:3.06,7.11; p<0.0001), pastoralist communities (OR=4.53, 95%CI:2.81,7.28; p<0.0001), communities with higher poverty levels (OR=1.49 95%CI:1.08,2.22; p=0.048), with lower levels of ANC utilization (OR=2.01, 95%CI:1.42,2.85; p<0.0001) and problem of distance to a health facility (OR=1.29, 95%CI:1.03,1.62; p=0.004) had a positive influence on women to give birth at home.


          Not only individual characteristics of women, but also community-level factors determine women’s decision to deliver at home.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Factors affecting home delivery in rural Tanzania.

          Studies of factors affecting place of delivery have rarely considered the influence of gender roles and relations within the household. This study combines an understanding of gender issues relating to health and help-seeking behaviour with epidemiological knowledge concerning place of delivery. In-depth interviews, focus group discussions and participant observation were used to explore determinants of home delivery in southern Tanzania. Quantitative data were collected in a cross-sectional survey of 21,600 randomly chosen households. Issues of risk and vulnerability, such as lack of money, lack of transport, sudden onset of labour, short labour, staff attitudes, lack of privacy, tradition and cultures and the pattern of decision-making power within the household were perceived as key determinants of the place of delivery. More than 9000 women were interviewed about their most recent delivery in the quantitative survey. There were substantial variations between ethnic groups with respect to place of delivery (P<0.0001). Women who lived in male-headed households were less likely to deliver in a health facility than women in female-headed households (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.80-0.91). Mothers with primary and higher education were more likely to deliver at a health facility (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.23-1.38). Younger mothers and the least poor women were also more likely to deliver in a health facility compared with the older and the poorest women, respectively. To address neonatal mortality, special attention should be paid to neonatal health in both maternal and child health programmes. The findings emphasize the need for a systematic approach to overcome health-system constraints, community based programmes and scale-up effective low-cost interventions which are already available.
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            Low use of rural maternity services in Uganda: impact of women's status, traditional beliefs and limited resources.

            In Uganda, lack of resources and skilled staff to improve quality and delivery of maternity services, despite good policies and concerted efforts, have not yielded an increase in utilisation of these services by women or a reduction in the high ratio of maternal deaths. This paper reports a study conducted from November 2000 to October 2001 in Hoima, a rural district in western Uganda, whose aim was to enhance understanding of why, when faced with complications of pregnancy or delivery, women continue to choose high risk options leading to severe morbidity and even their own deaths. The findings demonstrate that adherence to traditional birthing practices and beliefs that pregnancy is a test of endurance and maternal death a sad but normal event, are important factors. The use of primary health units and the referral hospital, including when complications occur, was considered only as a last resort. Lack of skilled staff at primary health care level, complaints of abuse, neglect and poor treatment in hospital and poorly understood reasons for procedures, plus health workers' views that women were ignorant, also explain the unwillingness of women to deliver in health facilities and seek care for complications. Appropriate interventions are needed to address the barriers between rural mothers and the formal health care system, including community education on all aspects of essential obstetric care and sensitisation of service providers to the situation of rural mothers.
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              Factors affecting the use of maternal health services in Madhya Pradesh state of India: a multilevel analysis

              Background Improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. It is widely accepted that the use of maternal health services helps in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. The utilization of maternal health services is a complex phenomenon and it is influenced by several factors. Therefore, the factors at different levels affecting the use of these services need to be clearly understood. The objective of this study was to estimate the effects of individual, community and district level characteristics on the utilisation of maternal health services with special reference to antenatal care (ANC), skilled attendance at delivery and postnatal care (PNC). Methods This study was designed as a cross sectional study. Data from 15,782 ever married women aged 15-49 years residing in Madhya Pradesh state of India who participated in the District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS-3) 2007-08 were used for this study. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed accounting for individual, community and district level factors associated with the use of maternal health care services. Type of residence at community level and ratio of primary health center to population and percent of tribal population in the district were included as district level variables in this study. Results The results of this study showed that 61.7% of the respondents used ANC at least once during their most recent pregnancy whereas only 37.4% women received PNC within two weeks of delivery. In the last delivery, 49.8% mothers were assisted by skilled personnel. There was considerable amount of variation in the use of maternal health services at community and district levels. About 40% and 14% of the total variance in the use of ANC, 29% and 8% of the total variance in the use of skilled attendance at delivery and 28% and 8.5% of the total variance in the use of PNC was attributable to differences across communities and districts, respectively. When controlled for individual, community and district level factors, the variances in the use of skilled attendance at delivery attributed to the differences across communities and districts were reduced to 15% and 4.3% respectively. There were only marginal reductions observed in the variance at community and district level for ANC and PNC use. The household socio-economic status and mother's education were the most important factors associated with the use of ANC and skilled attendance at delivery. The community level variable was only significant for ANC and skilled attendance at delivery but not for PNC. None of the district level variables used in this study were found to be influential factors for the use of maternal health services. Conclusions We found sufficient amount of variations at community and district of residence on each of the three indicators of the use of maternal health services. For increasing the utilisation of these services in the state, in addition to individual-level, there is a strong need to identify and focus on community and district-level interventions.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                15 April 2015
                : 10
                : 4
                Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia
                Université Catholique de Louvain, BELGIUM
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: HY MA AK. Performed the experiments: HY MA AK. Analyzed the data: HY MA AK. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: HY MA AK. Wrote the paper: HY MA AK. Searching literature: HY MA AK.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 5, Pages: 14
                The authors would like to thank United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and ICF International for their technical and financial support. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                The data underlying this study are owned by USAID. All data are available from the DHS database/USAID Institutional Data Access ( http://dhsprogram.com/data/available-datasets.cfm). Any researcher can request for access to the data without any restriction.



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