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Home delivery in Southern Lao PDR: challenges to achieving MDG 4 & 5 targets

journal contribution
posted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by A Sanaphay, S Daenseekaew, J Smith, Elizabeth Eckermann, Anna Scopaz
This study investigated rural Lao PDR village women's views and experiences of recent, or impeding, childbirth to better understand barriers to maternity service usage. Lao PDR has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the South-East Asian region with very low utilization rates for skilled birth assistance and health sector delivery services. The study site, Sekong, a southern Lao province, was lowest in the country on virtually all indicators of reproductive and maternal health, despite several recent maternal health service interventions. The study's aim was to gain a fuller understanding of barriers to maternity services usage to contribute towards maternity services enhancement, and district and national policy-making for progressing towards 2015 MDG 4 & 5 targets. 

A descriptive cross-sectional study was used. First, face-to-face questionnaires were used to collect demographic and reproductive health and health care experience data from 166 village woman (120 with a child born in the previous year, and 46 who were currently pregnant). In- epth individual interviews then followed with 23 purposively selected woman, to probe personal experiences and perspectives on why women preferred home birthing.

The majority of women had given birth at home, assisted by untrained birth attendants (relatives or neighbours). While seventy percent had accessed some antenatal services, postpartum follow-up attendance was very low (17 percent). Limited finances, lack of access to transport and prior negative health service experiences were important factors influencing women's decision making. Giving birth at home was seen by many, not just as unavoidable, but, as the preferred option.

Recent top-down maternal health initiatives have had little impact in this region. Improving maternal and child-health strategies requires much greater community participation and use of participatory action methodologies, to increase women's engagement in policy and planning and subsequent usage of health service developments. 

History

Journal

Philippine journal of nursing

Volume

84

Issue

1

Pagination

24 - 31

Publisher

Philippine Nurses Association

Location

[Manila, Philippines]

ISSN

0048-3818

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Philippine Nurses Association

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