Barriers and supportive factors to men's participation in perinatal care in Kooki county, rakai district.
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BACKGROUND: The Uganda National Policy for reproductive Health encourages participation of men in perinatal care but in Rakai District their level of active participation was not known. OBJECTIVE: To identify barriers and supportive factors to men’s participation in perinatal care activities so as to generate target specific interventions to improve men’s participation in perinatal care in Kooki county, Rakai district. METHODOLOGY: This was a cross sectional study that used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. A sample size of 300 men aged 18 years or older, who were living with spouses and residents of kooki county, Rakai district were interviewed about their participation in perinatal care activities for their spouses’ most recent pregnancy. 16 key informants were also interviewed. RESULTS: Less than half of the men (34.3%) were active in the perinatal care for the most recent pregnancy. Men having three or more children (OR=2.207; 95%C1: 1.289-3.779) were more likely to be active in perinatal care than those with less. Not discussing place of delivery as a couple (OR= 0.154; 95% C1:0.064-0.366) and a woman having the final decision on place of delivery (OR= 0.473; 95% C1:0.271-0.823) were negatively associated with active participation in perinatal care by men. Lack of health care services in perinatal clinics for men and awareness about men’s role in perinatal care were barriers to their active participation. CONCLUSION: The majority of the men were not actively participating in perinatal care activities despite the fact that they had the basic knowledge about perinatal care because of not being acquainted with their specific roles in perinatal care and had busy working schedules. RECOMMENDATION: The Ministry of Health and the District should make men’s participation in perinatal care and other reproductive health activities a priority by planning, funding and implementing activities encouraging them to do so using a multi-sectoral approach.