Determinants of postnatal care utilization among mothers in Mangochi District, Malawi

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Determinants of postnatal care utilization among mothers in Mangochi District, Malawi
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Postnatal care services, as it is the case with antenatal care, labour and delivery care services,
is a fundamental element of the continuum of Essential Obstetric Care (EOC) that can help in
decreasing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in low and middle income countries.
A community based cross-sectional study, with an objective of exploring the determinants of
postnatal care utilization among mothers in Mangochi district, Malawi, was conducted in nine
randomly selected villages. A total of 600 randomly selected mothers who gave birth in the
past two years preceding data collection, with a child more than six weeks old, were selected
using multistage sampling technique. A questionnaire using interviewing method was used to
collect the data and the analysis was made using frequency distribution, Chi-square statistic
and logistic regression. The level of significance was established at 95% Confidence Level.
In the results, almost 85% of the mothers utilized postnatal care services at least once within
the postnatal period. The factors that were found to predict postnatal care service utilization
were education level of the mother (AOR= 2.42, CI: 1.97,6.04) and that of the partner
(AOR=1.5, CI: 1.25,2.49), occupation status of the partner (AOR= 3.2, CI: 1.25,8.01),
household level of income (AOR=14.4, CI: 5.90,35.16), decision making (AOR=2.27, CI:
1.13,4.57) , knowledge of available PNC services (AOR=4.2, CI: 2.22,7.41), knowledge of at
least one postpartum danger signs (AOR=4.0, CI:2.07,7.50), and place of delivery (AOR=6.9,
CI: 3.35,14.14). In conclusion, the determinants for postnatal care utilization in Mangochi
district are education level of the mother and that of the partner, occupation status of the partner,
household level of income, decision making, knowledge of available PNC services, knowledge
of at least one postpartum danger signs, and place of delivery.
Therefore the study recommends the enhanced strengthening of the provision of Information
Education and Communication (IEC) on availability of postnatal care services and possible
postpartum danger signs. Programs targeting reinforcement of Maternal and Child Health
should emphasise on the need for the mothers to be having hospital delivery. Furthermore,
programs should direct efforts towards reaching women who do not avail themselves of
postnatal care as identified in the study, and also to reinforce factors that have shown to
improve postnatal care uptake among mothers.

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