Access and Trends of Utilization of Maternal Healthcare Services among Rural Women in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District in the Central Region of Ghana.


The death of a mother as a result of maternal healthcare implications is a source of worry to all and sundry. The formation of MDGs in the year 2000 was very timing. It led to the introduction of various healthcare interventions globally with the aim of improving access to maternal healthcare utilization and subsequently reduce maternal mortality. This study, therefore identified the factors that influence utilization of Maternal healthcare services among rural women in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa whiles looking at the relationship between provision of both geographic and financial accessibility and its impact on the trend of utilization of ANC and DAHP after the introduction of such policies. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, data was collected from both primary and secondary sources and analysed using SPSS version 20. The cross sectional descriptive survey designed was used to draw inferences from responses of 267 study participants among rural women in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa. It was revealed that; the need characteristics of health seeking behaviours; evidence of sickness, perceived presence of sickness and experience of previous complications were the major factors for utilizing ANC and DAHP services by rural women in AOB. Again, age of a women, her level of education, employment or poverty level coupled with the number of previous births/children have various level of influence on her decision to utilize ANC services. Availability of Health Facility (HF) in a woman‟s‟ village, the distance covered to the nearest HF and possession of a Free Maternal Healthcare Policy (FMHCP) card had little significance on utilization but did not fully guarantee utilization. Religious and cultural dynamics and marital status on the other hand has no influence on utilization. Further efforts at expanding the healthcare coverage to all corners of the country, especially the rural areas, coupled with the proper maintenance or reconstruction of access roads and complete removal of all charges on all ANC and DAHP services and effective strategies to promote domiciliary midwifery by training more Community Health Nurses is very essential if indeed Ghana desires to reduce the operations of TBAs and subsequently meet the target of MDG 5 in 2020. Moreover extensive research work need to be conducted at various ecological levels and specific policy directions admonished to address specific contextual health needs rather than generalization which rather benefit the middle class and urban dwellers.


Thesis (MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2015