Factors affecting utilization of prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in Busia District, Uganda
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The study aimed at understanding the factors that affect utilisation of PMTCT services among mothers between 15- 49 years living with HIV/AIDS, focusing on socio-economic, demographic, socio- cultural, knowledge, attitudes of mothers and distance from the health centers where PMTCT services are provided. The study used primary data that was collected from Busia District Uganda. Purposive sampling method was used targeting pregnant and lactating mothers who tested HIV positive. Quantitatively 225 respondents were interviewed. Five key informants (KI) and five focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted. The results of the study indicate high knowledge of PMTCT services among the respondents. Further analysis showed that factors like place of residence, type of occupation, religion and level of participation in decision making significantly influenced use of PMTCT services. Mothers who reported participation in decision making were found to utilize PMTCT services as opposed to those who did not take part in decision making. This was supported by the key informant, and FGDs data which showed that, the fear of husbands knowing, stigmatization, and economic dependency on husbands, limited male involvement were noted as some of the key hindrances to utilization of PMTCT services. Mothers who reside in urban areas utilize PMCT services more than those in rural areas. Mothers with better paying occupations like civil servants used PMTCT services more than the farmers and the unemployed. Christians apart from Catholics used PMTCT services more than the Moslems. Recommendations to improve PMTCT utilization include; education of the communities through community sensitization and VCT services through community out reaches, income generating activities for women to reduce on their economic dependency on men and as well encourage male participation in PMTCT and reproductive health services.