Attitude Towards Obstetric Care             Orient Journal of Medicine                      Vol 24 [1-2] Jan-June, 2012

Attitude of women towards private and public hospitals for obstetric care in South-East Nigeria: implications for maternal mortality reduction
Betrand O NWOSU1
Anthony O IGWEGBE1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
3Department of Family Medicine Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi Anambra State, Nigeria

Author for Correspondence
Dr Betrand O NWOSU
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
PMB 5025, Nnewi
Anambra State, Nigeria

Phone No: +234-806-332-6956
Received: November 11th, 2011
Accepted for Publication:
March 10th, 2012

Background: The privately owned hospitals play key roles in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

Objective: To determine the attitude of women towards private and public hospitals in accessing obstetric care in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria and evaluate its implications for maternal mortality reduction efforts in the country.

Methodology: A cross sectional survey of 400 market women using semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions.

Results: Majority of the women (72.1%) attended antenatal clinic in their last pregnancy in private hospitals while only 17.8% of them received antenatal care in government hospitals. Twenty-five (6.3%) of the women had antenatal care in maternity homes, and most of the respondents (72.8%) had their last deliveries in private hospitals. Equal numbers of them (36.4% each), delivered at the private specialist hospitals and private general practice hospitals, respectively. Only sixty-two (15.6%) of the respondents delivered in the government hospitals, while 37(9.3%) delivered in the maternity homes. Majority (79.4%) would prefer to deliver in the private hospitals in their next confinement while 14.1% would prefer government hospitals. The major reasons for choosing a particular hospital over the others included the friendly attitude of the health workers (33.9%), availability of attending staff at all times (27.4%) and proximity of the facility to their homes (14.6%).

Conclusion: Most women in Nnewi prefer to have antenatal care and delivery in private hospitals rather than in public hospitals. Thus, private hospitals should be included in maternal mortality reduction efforts in this part of the country so as to achieve the desired results.

Keywords: Attitude, hospitals, obstetric care, private, public
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