Factors affecting maternal health care utilization in government health units in Apac District
Obong, Charles Ogwal
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The overall objective of the study was to establish factors affecting maternal health care utilization in Government health units in Apac District of Northern Uganda. To this end, the study employed primary data that were both descriptive and cross-sectional in nature. Primary data were collected from a sample of 54 respondents. The study also used in-depth and focus group discussions. Resulting from the study, major socio-demographic, cultural and economic factors that affect mothers seeking maternal health care in government health units in Apac District were identified as: reliance on traditional taboos and rituals, distance away from modern health units, low levels of household income, low levels of basic education and ignorance and negative attitudes towards health workers. Other factors that significantly influence maternal health seeking behaviour in Apac District were found to be age of expecting mother, marital status, household size, number of pregnancies, who determines where to go for ante- postnatal care, means of transport and signs of possible complication. The study recommends expansion of government and non-government health facilities and effective linkage of health units to referral hospitals, improved maternal health seekers education and empowerment, a continuous capacity building of traditional birth attendants and a clear reflection of women health needs in health policies.