Factors influencing utilization of maternal health services among pastoralist communities in Kiteto district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Efficient and effective utilization of maternal health care is very important in order to reduce the rate of maternal mortality, since every pregnancy exposes women to maternal death and the risk of dying increases with the increase in maternal complications during pregnancy and child birth. Therefore; the main objective of the study was specifically to determine the socio-economic and demographic factors influencing utilization maternal health services among pastoralist communities. Cross-sectional type of study was carried out in four villages in Kiteto District; Partimbo, Kimana, Ngipa and Engusero. The study employed structured questionnaire to interview women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and checklist for key informants who were midwife nurses at District Hospital. A total of 300 pastoralist women were interviewed who had delivered five years prior to this study and all women were sampled using both purposive and random sampling. Data was analyzed using SPSS computer programme. Cross tabulation and Chi-square were used to determine the association between socio-economic variables and factors influencing maternal health utilization. The findings showed that 53 percent of the respondents were aware of danger signs associated with pregnancy and delivery while about 80 percent attended antenatal clinics even once during her last pregnancy. About 87 percent delivered at home due to various reasons mentioned like distance and transport cost. However, the level of antenatal clinic visits was not significantly correlated with any other socio-demographic variables, but place of delivery and assistance during delivery showed a significant association with socio-demographic variables (p < 0.005). On the basis of the findings, it is recommended that careful action is needed to increase community awareness in utilization of maternal health services to pastoralist in order to reduce the rate of home delivery as well as the rate of maternal mortality. Collaboration with all stakeholders is needed so as to improve the initiation of safe motherhood and to make women have access to basic health care and giving birth to be a positive and fulfilling experience.
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Maternal health services, Pregnancy, Pastoralist communities, Kiteto district, Tanzania
Francis, T (2012) Factors influencing utilization of maternal health services among pastoralist communities in Kiteto district, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at