Access to information and the right to health: A case of mothers seeking antenatal care services in Mulago Hospital.
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated the association between access to information and the right to health for mothers seeking Ante-Natal (ANC) services in Mulago Hospital. This was against the background that access to health information is a basic need and right and that, despite this, mothers especially those seeking maternal health services are still lacking effective access to it. The study attempted to; explore the knowledge of mothers on access to information as a right to health; analyse the information needs of mothers seeking antenatal health care; investigate available channels of accessing information for mothers seeking antenatal care; and to discuss the barriers to access of health information by mothers seeking antenatal care services. The study was informed by an important theory in health care delivery, namely, the Health Belief Model. It also borrows concepts from the Human Right Based Approach to health. Using a case study of Mulago Hospital, quantitative and qualitative approaches were engaged to conduct the study. Data was collected through Exit Client Interviews involving 98 mothers seeking ANC services, 2 Focus Group Discussions and 10 Key Informant Interviews and secondary sources. Quantitative–descriptive as well as thematic analysis was undertaken in the process of data analysis and interpretation of findings. The findings indicate that access to information is the one most vital element for one to realize the right to health. The results show that the background characteristics of mothers influenced their knowledge of and desire to claim their right to health. Most mothers reported to have knowledge of the elements of the right to health though they could not clearly relate this to access to information. Many mothers usually have specific information needs as they seek ANC services though some of these miss out on meeting these needs. The mothers reported to have used a number of channels to access information. The study found out that ANC classes and the health provider-client interactions were the commonly used and also most preferred. A number of barriers were noted as mothers struggled to access health information. This included language barriers, outdated information, limited time, difficulty in interpretation among others. The study concludes that access to information is paramount in realizing the right to health and reducing the diseases burden. The health providers and government of Uganda should fight to remove any barriers.