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1.  Experiences of and responses to disrespectful maternity care and abuse during childbirth; a qualitative study with women and men in Morogoro Region, Tanzania 
Background
Interventions to reduce maternal mortality have focused on delivery in facilities, yet in many low-resource settings rates of facility-based birth have remained persistently low. In Tanzania, rates of facility delivery have remained static for more than 20 years. With an aim to advance research and inform policy changes, this paper builds on a growing body of work that explores dimensions of and responses to disrespectful maternity care and abuse during childbirth in facilities across Morogoro Region, Tanzania.
Methods
This research drew on in-depth interviews with 112 respondents including women who delivered in the preceding 14 months, their male partners, public opinion leaders and community health workers to understand experiences with and responses to abuse during childbirth. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, translated and coded using Atlas.ti. Analysis drew on the principles of Grounded Theory.
Results
When initially describing birth experiences, women portrayed encounters with providers in a neutral or satisfactory light. Upon probing, women recounted events or circumstances that are described as abusive in maternal health literature: feeling ignored or neglected; monetary demands or discriminatory treatment; verbal abuse; and in rare instances physical abuse. Findings were consistent across respondent groups and districts. As a response to abuse, women described acquiescence or non-confrontational strategies: resigning oneself to abuse, returning home, or bypassing certain facilities or providers. Male respondents described more assertive approaches: requesting better care, paying a bribe, lodging a complaint and in one case assaulting a provider.
Conclusions
Many Tanzanian women included in this study experienced unfavorable conditions when delivering in facilities. Providers, women and their families must be made aware of women’s rights to respectful care. Recommendations for further research include investigations of the prevalence and dimensions of disrespectful care and abuse, on mechanisms for women and their families to effectively report and redress such events and on interventions that could mitigate neglect or isolation among delivering women. Respectful care is a critical component to improve maternal health.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-268
PMCID: PMC4261577  PMID: 25112432
Maternal health; Abuse; Respectful maternity care; Tanzania; Male involvement; Childbirth
2.  Use pattern of maternal health services and determinants of skilled care during delivery in Southern Tanzania: implications for achievement of MDG-5 targets 
Background
Almost two decades since the initiation of the Safe motherhood Initiative, Maternal Mortality is still soaring high in most developing countries. In 2000 WHO estimated a life time risk of a maternal death of 1 in 16 in Sub- Saharan Africa while it was only 1 in 2800 in developed countries. This huge discrepancy in the rate of maternal deaths is due to differences in access and use of maternal health care services. It is known that having a skilled attendant at every delivery can lead to marked reductions in maternal mortality. For this reason, the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel is one of the indicators used to monitor progress towards the achievement of the MDG-5 of improving maternal health.
Methods
Cross sectional study which employed quantitative research methods.
Results
We interviewed 974 women who gave birth within one year prior to the survey. Although almost all (99.8%) attended ANC at least once during their last pregnancy, only 46.7% reported to deliver in a health facility and only 44.5% were assisted during delivery by a skilled attendant. Distance to the health facility (OR = 4.09 (2.72–6.16)), discussion with the male partner on place of delivery (OR = 2.37(1.75–3.22)), advise to deliver in a health facility during ANC (OR = 1.43 (1.25–2.63)) and knowledge of pregnancy risk factors (OR 2.95 (1.65–5.25)) showed significant association with use of skilled care at delivery even after controlling for confounding factors.
Conclusion
Use of skilled care during delivery in this district is below the target set by ICPD + of attaining 80% of deliveries attended by skilled personnel by 2005. We recommend the following in order to increase the pace towards achieving the MDG targets: to improve coverage of health facilities, raising awareness for both men and women on danger signs during pregnancy/delivery and strengthening counseling on facility delivery and individual birth preparedness.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-7-29
PMCID: PMC2222241  PMID: 18053268

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