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Incentives to yield to Obstetric Referrals in deprived areas of Amansie West district in the Ashanti Region, Ghana

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      Abstract

      BackgroundObstetric referrals, otherwise known as maternal referrals constitute an eminent component of emergency care, and key to ensuring safe delivery and reducing maternal and child mortalities. The efficiency of Obstetric referral systems is however marred by the lack of accessible transportation and socio-economic disparities in access to healthcare. This study evaluated the role of socio-economic factors, perception and transport availability in honouring Obstetric referrals from remote areas to referral centres.MethodsThis was a cross-sectional study, involving 720 confirmed pregnant women randomly sampled from five (5) sub-districts in the Amansie west district in Ghana, from February to May 2015. Data were collected through structured questionnaire using face-to-face interviewing and analyzed using STATA 11.0 for windows. Logistic regression models were fitted to determine the influence of socio-demographic characteristics and pregnancy history on obstetric referrals.ResultsAbout 21.7 % of the women studied honoured referral by a community health worker to the next level of care. Some of the pregnant women however refused referrals to the next level due to lack of money (58 %) and lack of transport (17 %). A higher household wealth quintile increased the odds of being referred and honouring referral as compared to those in the lowest wealth quintile. Women who perceived their disease conditions as emergencies and severe were also more likely to honour obstetric referrals (OR = 2.3; 95 % CI = 1.3, 3.9).ConclusionClients’ perceptions about severity of health condition and low income remain barriers to seeking healthcare and disincentives to honour obstetric referrals in a setting with inequitable access to healthcare. Implementing social interventions could improve the situation and help attain maternal health targets in deprived areas.

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      Too far to walk: maternal mortality in context.

       S Thaddeus,  D Maine (1994)
      The Prevention of Maternal Mortality Program is a collaborative effort of Columbia University's Center for Population and Family Health and multidisciplinary teams of researchers from Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Program goals include dissemination of information to those concerned with preventing maternal deaths. This review, which presents findings from a broad body of research, is part of that activity. While there are numerous factors that contribute to maternal mortality, we focus on those that affect the interval between the onset of obstetric complication and its outcome. If prompt, adequate treatment is provided, the outcome will usually be satisfactory; therefore, the outcome is most adversely affected by delayed treatment. We examine research on the factors that: (1) delay the decision to seek care; (2) delay arrival at a health facility; and (3) delay the provision of adequate care. The literature clearly indicates that while distance and cost are major obstacles in the decision to seek care, the relationships are not simple. There is evidence that people often consider the quality of care more important than cost. These three factors--distance, cost and quality--alone do not give a full understanding of decision-making process. Their salience as obstacles is ultimately defined by illness-related factors, such as severity. Differential use of health services is also shaped by such variables as gender and socioeconomic status. Patients who make a timely decision to seek care can still experience delay, because the accessibility of health services is an acute problem in the developing world. In rural areas, a woman with an obstetric emergency may find the closest facility equipped only for basic treatments and education, and she may have no way to reach a regional center where resources exist. Finally, arriving at the facility may not lead to the immediate commencement of treatment. Shortages of qualified staff, essential drugs and supplies, coupled with administrative delays and clinical mismanagement, become documentable contributors to maternal deaths. Findings from the literature review are discussed in light of their implications for programs. Options for health programs are offered and examples of efforts to reduce maternal deaths are presented, with an emphasis on strategies to mobilize and adapt existing resources.
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        Still too far to walk: Literature review of the determinants of delivery service use

        Background Skilled attendance at childbirth is crucial for decreasing maternal and neonatal mortality, yet many women in low- and middle-income countries deliver outside of health facilities, without skilled help. The main conceptual framework in this field implicitly looks at home births with complications. We expand this to include "preventive" facility delivery for uncomplicated childbirth, and review the kinds of determinants studied in the literature, their hypothesized mechanisms of action and the typical findings, as well as methodological difficulties encountered. Methods We searched PubMed and Ovid databases for reviews and ascertained relevant articles from these and other sources. Twenty determinants identified were grouped under four themes: (1) sociocultural factors, (2) perceived benefit/need of skilled attendance, (3) economic accessibility and (4) physical accessibility. Results There is ample evidence that higher maternal age, education and household wealth and lower parity increase use, as does urban residence. Facility use in the previous delivery and antenatal care use are also highly predictive of health facility use for the index delivery, though this may be due to confounding by service availability and other factors. Obstetric complications also increase use but are rarely studied. Quality of care is judged to be essential in qualitative studies but is not easily measured in surveys, or without linking facility records with women. Distance to health facilities decreases use, but is also difficult to determine. Challenges in comparing results between studies include differences in methods, context-specificity and the substantial overlap between complex variables. Conclusion Studies of the determinants of skilled attendance concentrate on sociocultural and economic accessibility variables and neglect variables of perceived benefit/need and physical accessibility. To draw valid conclusions, it is important to consider as many influential factors as possible in any analysis of delivery service use. The increasing availability of georeferenced data provides the opportunity to link health facility data with large-scale household data, enabling researchers to explore the influences of distance and service quality.
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          Sampling techniques

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
            [ ]Julius Global Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
            [ ]Amansie West District Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service, Manso Nkwanta, Ghana
            [ ]Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana
            Contributors
            gladys_nuamah@yahoo.com
            agyeibaffour@yahoo.co.uk
            akohenemensah@yahoo.com
            kingdannie@gmail.com
            saintdominic58@yahoo.com
            kwaaddai@yahoo.co.uk
            Journal
            Int J Equity Health
            Int J Equity Health
            International Journal for Equity in Health
            BioMed Central (London )
            1475-9276
            22 July 2016
            22 July 2016
            2016
            : 15
            27449497
            4957873
            408
            10.1186/s12939-016-0408-7
            © The Author(s). 2016

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            © The Author(s) 2016

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