Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6240

Search results for: maternal health

6240 Analysis of Trends in Equity of Maternal Health Care in South India

Authors: Anushree S. Panikkassery

Abstract:

The paper analyses the pattern and trend of maternal health care in south Indian states. It studies the interstate disparities in terms of maternal health care. It also compares the trends in terms of achieving the target of sustainable development Goal is related to maternal health. The maternal health care (MHC) development is one of the key indicators for the development of health sector in the country and assumes significance from the socioeconomic and developmental perspectives. Maternal health care mainly consists of composite care during pregnancy, child birth as well as postpartum period. Antenatal care, identification, referral and management of high risk pregnancies, safe and healthy child birth and early postnatal care are some of the important issues pertaining to maternal health. Data is collected from national family health survey 1992-93, 1998-99, 2005-06, and 2015-16. A concentration index is used to study the disparities in equity of maternal health among south Indian states. The study shows that there has been an improvement in maternal health care in south Indian states with Kerala topping among the states. But there exist disparities among the south Indian states.

Keywords: antenatal care, disparities, equity, maternal health

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6239 Maternal Health Outcome and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic Panel Analysis

Authors: Okwan Frank

Abstract:

Maternal health outcome is one of the major population development challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has the highest maternal mortality ratio, despite the progressive economic growth in the region during the global economic crisis. It has been hypothesized that increase in economic growth will reduce the level of maternal mortality. The purpose of this study is to investigate the existence of the negative relationship between health outcome proxy by maternal mortality ratio and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study used the Pooled Mean Group estimator of ARDL Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) and the Kao test for cointegration to examine the short-run and long-run relationship between maternal mortality and economic growth. The results of the cointegration test showed the existence of a long-run relationship between the variables considered for the study. The long-run result of the Pooled Mean group estimates confirmed the hypothesis of an inverse relationship between maternal health outcome proxy by maternal mortality ratio and economic growth proxy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. Thus increasing economic growth by investing in the health care systems to reduce pregnancy and childbirth complications will help reduce maternal mortality in the sub-region.

Keywords: economic growth, maternal mortality, pool mean group, Sub-Saharan Africa

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6238 Maternal Death Review and Contextualization of Maternal Death in West Bengal

Authors: M. Illias Kanchan

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The death of a woman during pregnancy and childbirth is not only a health issue, but also a matter of social injustice. This study makes an attempt to explore the association between maternal death and associated factors in West Bengal using the approaches of facility-based and community-based maternal death review. Bivariate and binary logistic regression analysis have been performed to understand the causes and circumstances of maternal deaths in West Bengal. Delay in seeking care was the major contributor in maternal deaths, near about one-third women died due to this factor. The most common cause of maternal death is found to be hypertensive disorders of pregnancy or eclampsia. We believe that these deaths can be averted by reducing hypertensive disorders of pregnancy or eclampsia.

Keywords: maternal death, facility-based, community-based, review, west Bengal, eclampsia

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6237 An Assessment of the Impact of Safe Motherhood Initiative on Maternal Health of Women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Nigeria

Authors: Ahmed Mudi, Bala Zakar

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The paper assesses the impact of safe motherhood initiative on maternal health of women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State. The work will specifically concentrate on the background on safe motherhood scheme and maternal health of women. The objective of this paper is to assess the level of safe motherhood scheme in Gumel local government area, to find out the level of maternal health in Gumel local government as well as to determine the impact of safe motherhood scheme on maternal health on women in Gumel Local Government Area Jigawa State. Various literature on the topic are reviewed, the paper adopts survey design and use questionnaire to collect data from the respondent. The study comprises 350 women selected from six rural communities in Gumel using random sampling techniques, and the data was analysed by simple frequency and percentage. The research concluded that safe motherhood initiative has a significant impact on the maternal health of women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State. Finally, suitable recommendations were given on how to improve the scheme to ensure better maternal health in the region.

Keywords: action, assessment, maternal health, safe motherhood, surgery

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6236 An Investigation into the Levels of Human Development, Contraceptives’ Usage and Maternal Health in Indian States

Authors: Divyanshi Singh

Abstract:

Women’s right to have choices, sense of self-worth and their right to have access to opportunities have been a subject of serious concern. The health of women and their children in Indian society is adversely affected by the woman’s inferior status within households. The level of human development in society is a reflection of the better status of a woman, which has a clear impact on the usage of contraceptive methods and maternal health. The study is an attempt to assess the performance of Indian states on the parameters of levels of development and to see how the developmental trajectory is influencing the choice for contraception and maternal health. The objective of the paper is to study the relationship between usage of contraception, maternal health and levels of human development in Indian states. Data from NFHS-4th round, AHS (2012-13) and census 2011 is used. Three indicators of human development (effective literacy, infant mortality and gross district domestic product) have been taken. Maternal health for the study has been measured in MMR, IMR and pregnancy resulted in abortions, stillbirths and miscarriage. The multiple regression analysis has been done to analyze the relationship between them. The Developmental factor is found to be greatly influencing the choice of family planning and thus they both show strong relation with maternal health.

Keywords: human development, contraceptive usage, maternal health, effective literacy

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6235 Is Swaziland on Track with the 2015 Millennium Development Goals?

Authors: A. Sathiya Susuman

Abstract:

Background: The importance of maternal and child healthcare services cannot be stressed enough. These services are very important for the health and health outcomes of the mother and that of the child and in ensuring that both maternal and child deaths are prevented. The objective of the study is to inspire good quality maternal and child health care services in Swaziland. Specifically, is Swaziland on track with the 2015 Millennium Development Goals? Methods: The study used secondary data from the Swaziland Demographic and Health Survey 2006-07. This is an explorative and descriptive study which used pre-selected variables to study factors influencing the use of maternal and child healthcare services in Swaziland. Different types of examinations, such as univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analysis were adopted. Results: The study findings showed a high use rate of antenatal care (97.3%) and delivery care (74.0%), and a low rate of postnatal care use (20.5%). The uptake childhood immunization is also high in the country, averaging more than 80.0%. Moreover, certain factors which were found to be influencing the use of maternal healthcare and childhood immunization include: woman’s age, parity, media exposure, maternal education, wealth status, and residence. The findings also revealed that these factors affect the use of maternal and child health differently. Conclusion: It is important to study factors related to maternal and child health uptake to inform relevant stakeholders about possible areas of improvement. Programs to educate families about the importance of maternal and child healthcare services should be implemented. Swaziland needs to work hard on child survival and maternal health care services, no doubt it is on track with the MDG 4 & 5.

Keywords: maternal healthcare, antenatal care, delivery care, postnatal care, child health, immunization, socio-economic and demographic factors

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6234 Risk Factors for Maternal and Neonatal Morbidities Associated with Operative Vaginal Deliveries

Authors: Maria Reichenber Arcilla

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Objective: To determine the risk factors for maternal and neonatal complications associated with operative vaginal deliveries. Methods: A retrospective chart review of 435 patients who underwent operative vaginal deliveries was done. Patient profiles – age, parity, AOG, duration of labor – and outcomes – birthweight, maternal and neonatal complications - were tabulated and multivariable analysis and logistic regression were performed using SPSS® Statistics Base. Results and Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the incidence of maternal and neonatal complications between those that underwent vacuum and forceps extraction. Among the variables analysed, parity and duration of labor reached statistical significance. The odds of maternal complications were 3 times higher among nulliparous patients. Neonatal complications were seen in those whose labor lasted more than 9 hours.

Keywords: operative vaginal deliveries, maternal, neonatal, morbidity

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6233 Paternal Postpartum Depression and Its Relationship to Maternal Depression

Authors: Fatemeh Abdollahi, Mehran Zarghami, Jamshid Yazdani Jarati, Mun-Sunn Lye

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Fathers may be at risk of depression during the postpartum period. Some studies have been reported maternal depression is the key predictor of paternal postpartum depression (PPD). This study aimed to explore this association. Using a cross-sectional study design, 591 couples referring to primary health centers at 2-8 weeks postpartum (during 2017) were recruited. Couples screened for depression using Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Data on socio-demographic characteristics and psychosocial factors was also gathered. Paternal PPD was analyzed in relation to maternal PPD and other related factors using multiple regressions. The prevalence of Paternal and maternal postpartum depression was 15.7% (93) and 31.8% (188), respectively. The regression model showed that there was increased risk of PPD in fathers whose wives experienced PPD [OR=1.15, (95%CI: 1.04-1.27)], who had a lower state of general health [OR=1.21, (95%CI: 1.11-1.33)], who experienced increased number of life events [OR=1.42, (95%CI: 1.01-1.2.00)], and who were at older age [OR=1.20, (95%CI: 1.05- 1.36)]. Also, there was a decreased risk of depression in fathers with more children compared with those with fewer children [OR=0.20, (95%CI: 0.07-0.53)]. Maternal PPD and psychosocial risk factors were the strong predictors of parental PPD. Being grown up in a family with two depressed parents are an important issue for children and needs futher research and attention.

Keywords: Father, Mother, Postpartum depression, Risk factors

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6232 The Effects of Early Maternal Separation on Risky Choice in Rats

Authors: Osvaldo Collazo, Cristiano Valerio Dos Santos

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Early maternal separation has been shown to bring about many negative effects on behavior in rats. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of early maternal separation on risky choice in rats. One group of male and female Wistar rats was exposed to an early maternal separation protocol while a control group was left undisturbed. Then both groups were exposed to a series of behavioral tests, including a test of risky choice, where one alternative offered a constant reward while the other offered a variable reward. There was a difference between groups when they chose between a variable and a constant reward delay, but no other difference was significant. These results suggest that early maternal separation may be related to a greater preference for shorter delays, which is characteristic of more impulsive choices.

Keywords: early maternal separation, impulsivity, risky choice, variability

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6231 Locus of Control and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Maternal and Child Healthcare Services Utilization in Nigeria

Authors: Josephine Aikpitanyi, Friday Okonofua, Lorrettantoimo, Sandy Tubeuf

Abstract:

Every day, 800 women die from conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, resulting in an estimated 300,000 maternal deaths worldwide per year. Over 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with more than half of them occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria being the most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa bears a significant burden of worsening maternal and child health outcomes with a maternal mortality rate of 917 per 100,000 live births and child mortality rate of 117 per 1,000 live births. While several studies have documented that financial barriers disproportionately discourage poor women from seeking needed maternal and child healthcare, other studies have indicated otherwise. Evidence shows that there are instances where health facilities with skilled healthcare providers exist, and yet maternal, and child health outcomes remain abysmally low, indicating the presence of non-cognitive and behavioural factors that may affect the utilization of healthcare services. This study investigated the influence of locus of control and self-esteem on utilization of maternal and child healthcare services in Nigeria. Specifically, it explored the differences in utilization of antenatal care, skilled birth care, postnatal care, and child vaccination by women having an internal and external locus of control and women having high and low self-esteem. We collected information on non-cognitive traits of 1411 randomly selected women, along with information on utilization of the various indicators of maternal and child healthcare. Estimating logistic regression models for various components of healthcare services utilization, we found that women’s internal locus of control was a significant predictor of utilization of antenatal care, skilled birth care, and completion of child vaccination. We also found that having high self-esteem was a significant predictor of utilization of antenatal care, postnatal care, and completion of child vaccination after adjusting for other control variables. By improving our understanding of non-cognitive traits as possible barriers to maternal and child healthcare utilization, our findings offer important insights for enhancing participant engagement in intervention programs that are initiated to improve maternal and child health outcomes in low-and-middle-income countries.

Keywords: behavioural economics, health-seeking behaviour, locus of control and self-esteem, maternal and child healthcare, non-cognitive traits, and healthcare utilization

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6230 Understanding Awareness, Agency and Autonomy of Mothers and Potential of Digital Technology in Expanding Maternal Health Information Access: A Survey of Mothers in Urban India

Authors: Sumiti Saharan, Pallav Patankar, Lily W. Lee

Abstract:

Understanding the health-seeking behaviors and attitudes of women towards maternal health in the context of gender roles and family dynamics is tremendously crucial for designing effective and impactful interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health outcomes. Further, as the digital world becomes more accessible and affordable, it is imperative to scope the potential of digital technology in enabling access to maternal health information in different socio-economic groups (SEGs). In the summer of 2017, we conducted a study with 500 women across different SEGs in urban India who were pregnant or had had a delivery in the last year. The study was undertaken to assess their maternal health information seeking behavior with a particular focus on probing their use of digital technology for health-related information. The study also measured women's decision-making autonomy in the context of maternal health, awareness of their rights to quality and respectful maternal healthcare, and agency to voice their rights. We probed the impact of key variables including education, age, and socioeconomic status on all outcome variables. In terms of health-seeking behaviors, we found that women heavily relied on medical professionals and/or their mothers and mothers-in-law for all maternal health advice. Digital adoption was found to be high across all SEGs, with around 70% of women from all populations using the internet several times a week. On the other hand, use of the internet for both accessing maternal health information and choosing maternity hospitals were both significantly dependent on SEG. The key reasons reported for not using the internet for health purposes were lack of awareness and lack of trust on content accuracy. Decisions around health practices and type of delivery were found to be jointly made by women and other family members. Almost all women reported their husbands to play a key role in all maternal health decisions and for decisions with a clear financial implication like choice of hospital for delivery, husbands were reported to be the sole decision maker by a majority of women. The agency of women was also found to be low in interactions with maternal healthcare providers with a third of respondents not comfortable with voicing their opinions and preferences to their doctors. Interestingly, we find that this relatively low agency was prominent in both lower middle class and middle-class SEGs. Recognition of the sociocultural determinants of behavior is the first step in developing actionable strategies for improving maternal health outcomes. Our study quantifies the agency and autonomy of women in urban India and the variables that impact them. Our findings emphasize the value of gender normative approaches that factor in the key role husbands play in guiding maternal health decisions. They also highlight the power of digital approaches for catalyzing access to maternal health information. These insights into the attitude and behaviors of mothers in context of their sociocultural environments—and their relationship with digital technology—can help pave the way towards designing effective, scalable maternal and child health programs in developing nations like India.

Keywords: access to healthcare information, behavior, digital health, maternal health

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6229 Maternal Health Care Mirage: A Study of Maternal Health Care Utilization for Young Married Muslim Women in India

Authors: Saradiya Mukherjee

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Background: Indian Muslims, compared to their counterparts in other religions, generally do not fare well on many yardsticks related to socio-economic progress and the same is true with maternal health care utilization. Due to low age at marriage a major percentage of child birth is ascribed to young (15-24 years) Muslim mothers in, which pose serious concerns on the maternal health care of Young Married Muslim women (YMMW). A thorough search of past literature on Muslim women’s health and health care reveals that studies in India have mainly focused on religious differences in fertility levels and contraceptive use while the research on the determinants of maternal health care utilization among Muslim women are lacking in India. Data and Methods: Retrieving data from the National Family Health Survey -3 (2005-06) this study attempts to assess the level of utilization and factors effecting three key maternal health indicators (full ANC, safe delivery and PNC) among YMMW (15-24 years) in India. The key socio-economic and demographic variables taken as independent or predictor variables in the study was guided by existing literature particularly for India. Bi-variate analysis and chi square test was applied and variables which were found to be significant were further included in binary logistic regression. Results: The findings of the study reveal abysmally low levels of utilization for all three indicators i.e. full ANC, safe delivery and PNC of maternal health care included in the study. Mother’s education, mass media exposure, women’s autonomy, birth order, economic status wanted status of child and region of residence were found to be significant variables effecting maternal health care utilization among YMMW. Multivariate analysis reveals that no mass media exposure, lower autonomy, education, poor economic background, higher birth order and unintended pregnancy are some of the reasons behind low maternal health care utilization. Conclusion: Considering the low level of safe maternal health care utilization and its proximate determinants among YMMW the study suggests educating Muslim girls, promoting family planning use, involving media and collaboration between religious leader and health care system could be some important policy level interventions to address the unmet need of maternity services among YMMW.

Keywords: young Muslim women, religion, socio-economic condition, antenatal care, delivery, post natal care

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6228 Maternal and Newborn Health Care Program Implementation and Integration by Maternal Community Health Workers, Africa: An Integrative Review

Authors: Nishimwe Clemence, Mchunu Gugu, Mukamusoni Dariya

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Background: Community health workers and extension workers can play an important role in supporting families to adopt health practices, encourage delivery in a health care facility, and ensure time referral of mothers and newborns if needed. Saving the lives of neonates should, therefore, be a significant health outcome in any maternal and newborn health program that is being implemented. Furthermore, about half of a million mothers die from pregnancy-related causes. Maternal and newborn deaths related to the period of postnatal care are neglected. Some authors emphasized that in developing countries, newborn mortality rates have been reduced much more slowly because of the lack of many necessary facility-based and outreach service. The aim of this review was to critically analyze the implementation and integration process of the maternal and newborn health care program by maternal community health workers, into the health care system, in Africa. Furthermore, it aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. We addressed the following review question: (1) what process is involved in the implementation and integration of the maternal and newborn health care program by maternal community health workers during antenatal, delivery and postnatal care into health system care in Africa? Methods: The database searched was from Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition through academic search complete via EBSCO Host. An iterative approach was used to go through Google scholarly papers. The reviewers considered adapted Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidance, and the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used. Synthesis method in integrative review following elements of noting patterns and themes, seeing plausibility, clustering, counting, making contrasts and comparisons, discerning commons and unusual patterns, subsuming particulars into general, noting relations between variability, finding intervening factors and building a logical chain of evidence, using data–based convergent synthesis design. Results: From the seventeen of studies included, results focused on three dimensions inspired by the literature on antenatal, delivery, and postnatal interventions. From this, further conceptual framework was elaborated. The conceptual framework process of implementation and integration of maternal and newborn health care program by maternal community health workers was elaborated in order to ensure the sustainability of community based intervention. Conclusions: the review revealed that the implementation and integration of maternal and newborn health care program require planning. We call upon governments, non-government organizations, the global health community, all stakeholders including policy makers, program managers, evaluators, educators, and providers to be involved in implementation and integration of maternal and newborn health program in updated policy and community-based intervention. Furthermore, emphasis should be placed on competence, responsibility, and accountability of maternal community health workers, their training and payment, collaboration with health professionals in health facilities, and reinforcement of outreach service. However, the review was limited in focus to the African context, where the process of maternal and newborn health care program has been poorly implemented.

Keywords: Africa, implementation of integration, maternal, newborn

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6227 Community Involvement in Reducing Maternal and Perinatal Mortality in Cross River State, Nigeria: 'The Saving Mother Giving Life' Strategic Approach in Cross River State

Authors: Oluwayemisi Femi-Pius, Kazeem Arogundade, Eberechukwu Eke, Jimmy Eko

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Introduction: Globally, community involvement in improving their own health has been widely adopted as a strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa principally to ensure equitable access to essential health care as well as improve the uptake of maternal and newborn health services especially in poor-resource settings. Method: The Saving Mother Giving Life (SMGL) Initiative implemented by Pathfinder International with funding support from USAID conducted a Health Facility Assessment (HFA) and found out that maternal mortality ratio in Cross River State was 812 per 100,000 live birth and perinatal mortality was 160 per 1000 live birth. To reduce maternal and perinatal mortality, Pathfinder International mobilized, selected and trained community members as community volunteers, traditional birth attendants, and emergency transport service volunteer drivers mainly to address the delay in decision making and reaching the health facility among pregnant women. Results: The results showed that maternal mortality ratio in Cross River State decrease by 25% from 812 per 100,000 live birth at baseline to 206 per 100,000 live birth at June 2018 and perinatal mortality reduced by 35% from 160 per 100,000 at baseline to 58 per 1000 live birth at June 2018. Data also show that ANC visit increased from 7,451 to 11,344; institutional delivery increased from 8,931 at baseline to 10,784 in June 2018. There was also a remarkable uptake of post-partum family planning from 0 at baseline to 233 in June 2018. Conclusion: There is clear evidence that community involvement yields positive maternal outcomes and is pivotal for sustaining most health interventions.

Keywords: maternal mortality, Nigeria, pathfinder international, perinatal mortality, saving mother giving life

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6226 Association of Maternal Age, Ethnicity and BMI with Gestational Diabetes Prevalence in Multi-Racial Singapore

Authors: Nur Atiqah Adam, Mor Jack Ng, Bernard Chern, Kok Hian Tan

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Introduction: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication with short and long-term health consequences for both mother and fetus. Factors such as family history of diabetes mellitus, maternal obesity, maternal age, ethnicity and parity have been reported to influence the risk of GDM. In a multi-racial country like Singapore, it is worthwhile to study the GDM prevalences of different ethnicities. We aim to investigate the influence of ethnicity on the racial prevalences of GDM in Singapore. This is important as it may help us to improve guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to significant risk factors unique to Singapore. Materials and Methods: Obstetric cohort data of 926 singleton deliveries in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) from 2011 to 2013 was obtained. Only patients aged 18 and above and without complicated pregnancies or chronic illnesses were targeted. Factors such as ethnicity, maternal age, parity and maternal body mass index (BMI) at booking visit were studied. A multivariable logistic regression model, adjusted for confounders, was used to determine which of these factors are significantly associated with an increased risk of GDM. Results: The overall GDM prevalence rate based on WHO 1999 criteria & at risk screening (race alone not a risk factor) was 8.86%. GDM rates were higher among women above 35 years old (15.96%), obese (15.15%) and multiparous women (10.12%). Indians had a higher GDM rate (13.0 %) compared to the Chinese (9.57%) and Malays (5.20%). However, using multiple logistic regression model, variables that are significantly related to GDM rates were maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal BMI at booking visit (p = 0.006). Conclusion: Maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal booking BMI (p = 0.006) are the strongest risk factors for GDM. Ethnicity per se does not seem to have a significant influence on the prevalence of GDM in Singapore (p = 0.064). Hence we should tailor guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to maternal age and booking BMI rather than ethnicity.

Keywords: ethnicity, gestational diabetes, healthcare, pregnancy

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6225 Anemia Maternal in Pregnancy as a Risk Factor of Low Birth Weight: A Systematic Review

Authors: Herlena Hayati, Diyan Reni Jayathi, Hairida Anggun, Citra Amelia

Abstract:

This systematic review research is aimed to find out anemia maternal during pregnancy as a risk factor of low birth weight. This research was done by searching some journals which have associated to maternal anemia during pregnancy with low birth weight that had been published in journal accreditation and scopus index. Study literature that researcher had been done by March – April 2016 through online library of UI. The journals that had been selected according to inclusive criteria and exclusive criteria had been through the critial appraisal process. This systematic review towards 4 journals that had been selected and published showed the significant result statistically that anemia maternal is one of the risk factors which causes low birth weight. Anemia maternal on the first-trimester pregnancy showed significant association with low birth weight. Moderate anemia and severe anemia also showed significant association with low birth weight. Meanwhile, mild anemia doesn’t have an association with low birth weight. The conclusion of this study is anemia maternal (as an independent risk factor) have an influence towards low birth weight.

Keywords: anemia maternal, low birth weight, pregnancy, systematic review

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6224 Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children Aged 4-6 Years by Municipal Maternal and Child Health Physicians: An Educational Intervention Study

Authors: M. Van 'T Hof, R. V. Pasma, J. T. Bailly, H. W. Hoek, W. A. Ester

Abstract:

Background: The transition into primary school can be challenging for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Due to the new demands that are made to children in this period, their limitations in social functioning and school achievements may manifest and appear faster. Detection of possible ASD signals mainly takes place by parents, teachers and during obligatory municipal maternal and child health centre visits. Physicians of municipal maternal and child health centres have limited education and instruments to detect ASD. Further education on detecting ASD is needed to optimally equip these doctors for this task. Most research aims to increase the early detection of ASD in children aged 0-3 years and shows positive results. However, there is a lack of research on educational interventions to detect ASD in children aged 4-6 years by municipal maternal and child health physicians. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the effect of the online educational intervention: Detection of ASD in children aged 4-6 years for municipal maternal and child health physicians. This educational intervention is developed within The Reach-Aut Academic Centre for Autism; Transitions in education, and will be available throughout The Netherlands. Methods: Ninety-two participants will follow the educational intervention: Detection of ASD in children aged 4-6 years for municipal maternal and child health centre physicians. The educational intervention consists of three, one and a half hour sessions, which are offered through an online interactive classroom. The focus and content of the course has been developed in collaboration with three groups of stakeholders; autism scientists, clinical practitioners (municipal maternal and child health doctors and ASD experts) and parents of children with ASD. The primary outcome measure is knowledge about ASD: signals, early detection, communication with parents and referrals. The secondary outcome measures are the number of ASD related referrals, the attitude towards the mentally ill (CAMI), perceived competency about ASD knowledge and detection skills, and satisfaction about the educational intervention. Results and Conclusion: The study started in January 2016 and data collection will end mid 2017.

Keywords: ASD, child, detection, educational intervention, physicians

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6223 The Uptake of Reproductive Maternal Newborn and Child Healthcare in Gonji Kolela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia: A Qualitative Exploration of What Is on the Ground and What Could Be Helpful

Authors: Yan Ding, Fei Yan, Ji Liang, Hong Jiang, Xiaoguang Yang, Xu Qian

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The health status of GonjiKolela District, Amhara Region, Ethiopia is below its national average, and a sub-project of China UK Global Health Support Programme (GHSP) is expected to increase the uptake of a suite of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) interventions there. To explore what is on the ground and what could be helpful for the uptake of RMNCH services in GonjiKolela, a qualitative study was performed as part of the baseline assessment before the implementation of the project. Nine key informants from GonjiKolela were interviewed with self-designed interview guides and they were from the district Health Office, health centers, health posts, women health development army (community volunteer groups), mothers of newborns, and also a gynecologist from the maternal and child health center which is the referral center for pregnant women for this project. The interview were transcribed into words and sorted with qualitative analysis software MAXqda. Content analysis was mainly used to analyze the data. The district health office, the health centers and the health posts all had focal persons taking care of the management and provision of RMNCH services, and RMNCH related indicators were recorded and reported at each level routinely. In addition, district government and administration at community/administrative village level kept a close eye on the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality. Women Health Development Amy at household level supported health workers at community/administrative village level (called health extension workers) in tracing, recording and reporting pregnant women, newborn and under-five children,organizing events for health education, demonstrating and leading health promotion activities, and stimulating the utilization of RMNCH.

Keywords: Reproductive Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Health Care Utilization, Qualitative Study, Ethiopia

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6222 Assessment of Maternal Satisfaction Regarding Quality of Care during Labor

Authors: Farida Habib, Haya Alfozan, Eman Miligi, Najla Alotaibi

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Background: Women’s satisfaction with maternity services, especially care during labor and birth, has become highly significant to healthcare providers, administrators, and policymakers. Purpose: The aims of this study were to assess maternal satisfaction regarding the quality of care during labor and to compare the level of maternal satisfaction between women who delivered by physicians and those delivered by midwives. Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational design was used. A convenient sample of 180 low-risk cases of immediate postpartum women who delivered at King Abdul-Aziz medical city was recruited. Women whose babies were diagnosed with serious health problems were excluded from the study. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were ensured. The questionnaire included three parts, namely: demographics data, medical history, and obstetrical history, and the last part is the satisfaction assessment tool. Ethical confederations were ensured. Maternal satisfaction during labor was classified in terms of health care, health workers' communication, and the environment. Results: Regarding health care, women were highly satisfied with care received from nurse (M = 4.21 + 0.88), medical care received (M = 4.17 + 0.79), and comfort techniques (M = 4.04 + 0.91). Regarding health workers' communication, women were highly satisfied with the provider to treat with dignity and respect (M = 4.03 + 0.91) and orientation to the toilet, bathroom, washing area (M = 4.00 + 0.93). Regarding the environment, women were highly satisfied with the experience of their baby's birth (M = 4.18 + 0.98) and supplies with drugs and supplies (M = 4.09 + 0.97). There was no statistically significant difference in maternal satisfaction between women who delivered by physicians and those delivered by midwives. Conclusion: Women were generally satisfied with their labor and delivery experience. There was no difference in maternal satisfaction on the labor process between women who delivered by physicians and those delivered by midwives.

Keywords: maternity, satisfaction, labor, delivery

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6221 Maternal Awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: A Jordanian Study

Authors: Nemeh Ahmad Al-Akour, Ibrahem Alfaouri

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Objective: To examine the level of maternal awareness of SIDS and its prevention amongst Jordanian mothers in the north of Jordan, as well as to determine their SIDS-related infant care practices. Design: A cross-sectional design. Setting: The study was conducted in maternal out-patients clinics of two teaching hospitals and three maternal and child health clinic in three major health care centers in Northern Jordan. Participants: A total of 356 mothers of infants attending the maternal and child health clinics were included in this study. Measurements and findings: A self-administered questionnaire was used for collecting data study. In this study, 64%of mothers didn’t hear about SIDS, while only 7% of mothers were able to identify factors risk-reducing recommendations. Avoidance of prone sleeping was the most frequently identified recommendation (5%). There were 67.7% of mothers who put their infant in a lateral position to sleep, 61% used soft mattress surface for their babies sleep and 25.8% who shared a bed with their babies. Employed mother, mothers of higher age, and mothers living within a nuclear family were the only factors associated with maternal awareness of SIDS. Friends were the highest a source of knowledge of SIDS for mothers (44.7%). Key conclusions: There was a low level of awareness of SIDS and its associated risk factor among the mothers in Jordan. The mothers' misconception about smoking and sleeping position for their infants requires further efforts. Implications for practice: To ensure raising awareness of infant care practice regarding SIDS, a national educational intervention on SIDS risk reduction strategies and recommendations is necessary for maintaining a low rate of SIDS in the population.

Keywords: bed sharing, infant care, Jordan, sleep position, sudden infant death

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6220 The Effect of Skin to Skin Contact Immediately to Maternal Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy after Cesarean Section

Authors: D. Triana, I. N. Rachmawati, L. Sabri

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Maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy is positively associated with increased duration of breastfeeding in different cultures and age groups. This study aims to determine the effect of skin-to-skin contact immediately after the cesarean section on maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy. The research design is Posttest quasi-experimental research design only with control groups involving 52 women with consecutive sampling in Langsa-Aceh. The data collected through breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form. The results of Independent t-test showed a significant difference in the mean values of maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy in the intervention group and the control group (59.00 ± 6.54; 49.62 ± 7.78; p= 0.001). Skin to skin contact is proven to affect the maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy after cesarean section significantly.

Keywords: breastfeeding self-efficacy, cesarean section, skin to skin contact, immediately

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6219 Perception of Health Care Providers: A Need to Introduce Screening of Maternal Mental Health at Primary Health Care in Nepal

Authors: Manisha Singh, Padam Simkhada

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Background: Although mental health policy has been adapted in Nepal since 1997, the implementation of the policy framework is yet to happen. The fact that mental health services are largely concentrated in urban areas more specific to treatment only provides a clear picture of the scarcity of mental health services in the country. The shreds of evidence from around the world, along with WHO’s (World Health Organization) Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) suggest that effective mental health services can be provided from Primary Health Care (PHC) centers through community-based programs without having to place a specialized health worker. However, the country is still facing the same challenges to date with very few psychiatrists and psychologists, but they are largely based in cities. Objectives: The main objectives of this study are; (a) to understand the perception of health workers at PHC on maternal mental health, and (b) to assess the availability of the mental health services at PHC to address maternal mental health. Methods: This study used a qualitative approach where an in-depth interview was conducted with the health workers at the primary level. “Mayadevi” rural municipality in Rupendehi District that comprised of 13 small villages, was chosen as the study site. A total 8 health institutions which covered all 13 sites were included where either the health post in- charge or health worker working in maternal and child health care was interviewed for the study. All the health posts in the study area were included in the study. The interviews were conducted in Nepali; later, they were translated in English, transcribed, and triangulated. NViVO was used for the analysis. Results: The findings show that most of the health workers understood what maternal mental health was and deemed it as a public health issue. They could explain the symptoms and knew what medication to prescribe if need be. However, the majority of them failed to name the screening tools in place for maternal mental health. Moreover, they hadn’t even seen one. None of the health care centers had any provision for screening mental health status. However, one of the centers prescribed medication when the patients displayed symptoms of depression. But they believed there were a significant number of hidden cases in the community due to the stigma around mental health and being a woman with mental health problem makes the situation even difficult. Nonetheless, the health workers understood the importance of having screening tools and acknowledged the need of training and support in order to provide the services from PHC. Conclusion: Community health workers can identify cases with mental health problems and prevent them from deteriorating further. But there is a need for robust training and support to build the capacity of the health workers. The screening tools on mental health needs to be encouraged to be used in the PHC levels. Furthermore, community-based culture-sensitive programs need to be initiated and implemented to mitigate the stigma related issues around mental health.

Keywords: maternal mental health, health care providers, screening, Nepal

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6218 Forced Migration and Access to Maternal Healthcare in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in North-Central Nigeria

Authors: Faith O. Olanrewaju

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Internal displacement and the vulnerability of women are two critical aspects of forced migration that have dominated both global and local discourses. Statistics show that in November 2021, there were over 2.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria. Literature also states that displaced women and girls are more vulnerable than displaced men. They are susceptible to adversative experiences, including various forms of sexual violence and rape. As a result, the displaced women and girls are faced with psychological and physical traumas, including HIV/AIDS as well as unexpected or poorly spaced pregnancies. In addition, the poor condition of living of internally displaced women in IDP camps affects their reproductive health, pregnancy outcomes, and maternal mortality levels. Incontrovertibly, internally displaced women constitute an imperative contributor to the ills of Nigeria's maternal health status, which is the second worse globally and the worst in Africa. World Health Organisation statistics showed that approximately 536,000 girls and women die from pregnancy-related causes globally, and Nigeria accounts for 14% of the global maternal deaths. Undeniably, this supports the claims that maternal mortality remains a challenge in Nigeria and can be exacerbated by internal displacement crises. Therefore, maternal mortality remains a critical impediment to the actualisation of the 3.1 SDG target. Owing to this, concerns arise about the quality of the policy in Nigeria’s health sector. More specifically, this study is concerned with the maternal health care services displaced women receive in IDP camps in the three states affected by internal displacement in north-central Nigeria, an understudied area. The novelty of the study also lies in its comparative investigation of maternal healthcare service delivery in three different camp structures (faith-based, government, and informal IDP camps), a pattern that is absent in literature. Therefore, this study will investigate how the camp structures affect access to maternal health services in the study areas; analyse the successes and challenges in the delivery of maternal health care services to displaced women in the various camps; and recommendation and strategies for reducing maternal healthcare disparities/gaps across IDP camps in Nigeria (should they exist). It will adopt a mixed-method approach and multi-stage sampling technique. A total of 1,152 copies of the study questionnaire will be distributed to displaced pregnant and nursing mothers (PNM); nine focus group discussions will also be held with the displaced PNM; in-depth interviews will be conducted with humanitarian actors, policymakers, and health professionals. The quantitative and qualitative data will be analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 21.0 and thematic analysis, respectively. The findings of the study will be used to develop a model of care that will address the fragmentations in Nigeria's healthcare system. The findings will also inform the development of best policies and practices in the maternal health of displaced women.

Keywords: forced displacement, internally displaced women, maternal healthcare, maternal mortality

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6217 Beliefs on Reproduction of Women in Fish Port Community: An Explorative Study on the Beliefs on Conception, Childbirth, and Maternal Care of Women in Navotas Fish Port Community

Authors: Marie Kristel A. Gabawa

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The accessibility of health programs, specifically family planning programs and maternal and child health care (FP/MCH), are generally low in urban poor communities. Moreover, most of FP/MCH programs are directed toward medical terms that are usually not included in ideation of the body of urban poor dwellers. This study aims to explore the beliefs on reproduction that will encompass, but not limited to, beliefs on conception, pregnancy, and maternal and child health care. The site of study will be the 2 barangays of North Bay Boulevard South 1 (NBBS1) and North Bay Boulevard South 2 (NBBS2). These 2 barangays are the nearest residential community within the Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC). Data gathered will be analyzed using grounded-theory method of analysis, with the theories of cultural materialism and equity feminism as foundation. Survey questionnaires, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions will be utilized in gathering data. Further, the presentation of data will be recommended to health program initiators and use the data gathered as a tool to customize FP/MCH programs to the perception and beliefs of women residing in NBBS1and NBBS2, and to aid any misinformation for FP/MCH techniques.

Keywords: beliefs on reproduction, fish port community, family planning, maternal and child health care, Navotas

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6216 Utilization of Antenatal Care Services by Domestic Workers in Delhi

Authors: Meenakshi

Abstract:

Background: The complications during pregnancy are the major cause of morbidity and deaths among women in the reproductive age group. Childbearing is the most important phase in women’s lives that occur mainly in the adolescent and adult years. Maternal health, thus is an important issue as this as this is important phase is also productive time for women as they strive fulfill their capabilities as an individual, mothers, family members and also as a citizen. The objective of the study is to document the coverage of ANC and its determinants among domestic workers. Method: A survey of 300 domestic workers were carried in Delhi. Only respondents in the age group (15-49) and whose recent birth was of 5 years preceding the survey were included. Socio-demographic data and information on maternal health was collected from these respondents Information on ANC was collected from total 300 respondents. Standard of living index were composed based on households assists and similarly autonomy index was computed based on women decision making power in the households taking certain key variables. Cross tabulations were performed to obtain frequency and percentages. Potential socio-economic determinants of utilization of ANC among domestic workers were examined using binary logistic regressions. Results: Out of 300 domestic workers survey, only 70.7 per cent per cent received ANC. Domestic workers who married at age 18 years and above are 4 times more likely to utilize antenatal services during their last birth (***p< 0.01). Comparison to domestic workers with number of living children two or less, domestic workers with number of living children more than two are less likely to utilize antenatal care services (**p< 0.05). Domestic workers belonging to Other Backward Castes are more likely to utilize antenatal care services than domestic workers belonging to scheduled tribes ((**p< 0.05). Conclusion: The level of utilization of maternal health services are less among domestic workers is less, as they spend most of their time at the employers household. Though demonstration effect do have impact on their life styles but utilization of maternal health services is poor. Strategies and action are needed to improve the utilization of maternal health services among this section of workers as they are vulnerable because of no proper labour legislations.

Keywords: antenatal care, domestic workers, health services, maternal health, women’s health

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6215 Evaluating the Knowledge and Skill of Final Year Pharmacy Students in Maternal and Child Health at a University in South Africa

Authors: E. O. Egieyeh, N. Butler, R. Coetzee, M. Van Huyssteen, A. Bheekie

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Background: High rate of maternal and child mortality is a global concern. Nationally, it constitutes one of South Africa’s quadruple burdens of diseases. Pharmacists have a crucial role in maternal and child health care delivery and as such should be equipped with adequate knowledge and skill required to contribute to maternal and child well-being. The International Pharmaceutical Federation statement of policy (2013) outlines pharmacist-led interventions in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s interventions in maternal, new-born and child health care. The South African Pharmacy Council’s guideline on Good Pharmacy Practice (2010) also stipulates the minimum standards required to participate in reproductive, maternal and child care. Pharmacy schools are obliged to train pharmacy students to meet priority health needs of the population so that graduates are ‘fit for purpose’. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the knowledge and skill of final year pharmacy students at a university in South Africa to determine their preparedness to contribute effectively to maternal and child health care. Method: A quantitative, descriptive, non-randomized baseline study was conducted among the final year students at the School of Pharmacy. Data was collected using a questionnaire designed in sections to assess knowledge of contraception, maternal and child health directed at the primary care level and framed within the scope of practice required of an entry-level generalist pharmacist. Participants’ skill in infant growth assessment was assessed in a section of the questionnaire in a written format. Participants ticked the topics they had been exposed to on a curriculum content assessment tool which was not graded. A pilot study examined the clarity and suitability of question items, and duration to complete the questionnaire. A score of 50% in each section of the questionnaire indicated a pass. The questionnaire was delivered in campus lecture venue. Results: Of the 102 students in final year, 53 (52%) students consented to participate in the study. Only 13.2% of participants scored above 50% in each section. Forty five (85%) participants scored above 50% in the contraception section while 40 (75%) scored less than 50% in the skills assessment. Less than half (45.3%) of the participants had a total score above 50%. Being a parent or working part-time as pharmacist assistance did not have any influence on the performance of the participants. Evaluation of participants’ curriculum content exposure showed differences in exposure to the various topics. Exposure to contraception teaching received the most recognition. Conclusion: Maternal and child health curriculum content should be reviewed at the university to enhance the knowledge and skill of pharmacy graduates.

Keywords: final year pharmacy students, knowledge and skill, maternal and child health, South Africa

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6214 Maternal Request: A Minor but Important Contributor to the Rising Rates of Caesarean Section: A Retrospective Observational Study

Authors: Katherine Russell

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Background: Over recent decades the number of caesarean sections performed in the UK has continued to rise. The cause of the rising caesarean rate (CSR) is not well understood. However, one of the most heavily cited reasons is an increase in maternal request for caesarean section. Maternal request for caesarean section (CDMR) refers to a caesarean section performed on maternal request with no medical indication. The true rate of caesarean delivery on maternal request in the UK and its contribution to the caesarean section rate is not known. Methods: To elucidate current understanding of the cause of the rising caesarean section rate and the role of CDMR we conducted a systematic review of the literature. To determine the role of CDMR in the CSR at the PRH we conducted a retrospective observational study of the caesarean section rates and CDMR from 2009-2015. Results: We demonstrated a negative correlation between rates of elective sections and CDMR over the study period (-0.123). On average, there were more elective sections performed after 2011 (15.10% of all deliveries) than before 2011 (12.41% of all deliveries); this difference was statistically significant (p = < 0.001). There were more cases of CDMR after 2011 (1.39% of all deliveries) than before 2011 (0.85% of all deliveries). The difference in average rates of CDMR before and after 2011 was statistically significant (p ≤ 0.001). Conclusions: CDMR is only a minor contributor to the CSR at the PRH. However, it remains an important factor because it represents a target for the reduction of the CSR that is more manageable than other, more complex and ubiquitous causes of the rising CSR.

Keywords: cesarean section, maternal request for cesarean section, obstetrics, pre-natal health

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6213 Role of ASHA in Utilizing Maternal Health Care Services India, Evidences from National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Authors: Dolly Kumari, H. Lhungdim

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Maternal health is one of the crucial health indicators for any country. 5th goal of Millennium Development Goals is also emphasising on improvement of maternal health. Soon after Independence government of India realizing the importance of maternal and child health care services, and took steps to strengthen in 1st and 2nd five year plans. In past decade the other health indicator which is life expectancy at birth has been observed remarkable improvement. But still maternal mortality is high in India and in some states it is observe much higher than national average. Government of India pour lots of fund and initiate National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005 to improve maternal health in country by providing affordable and accessible health care services. Accredited Social Heath Activist (ASHA) is one of the key components of the NRHM. Mainly ASHAs are selected female aged 25-45 years from village itself and accountable for the monitoring of maternal health care for the same village. ASHA are trained to works as an interface between the community and public health system. This study tries to assess the role of ASHA in utilizing maternal health care services and to see the level of awareness about benefits given under JSY scheme and utilization of those benefits by eligible women. For the study concurrent evaluation data from National Rural health Mission (NRHM), initiated by government of India in 2005 has been used. This study is based on 78205 currently married women from 70 different districts of India. Descriptive statistics, chi2 test and binary logistic regression have been used for analysis. The probability of institutional delivery increases by 2.03 times (p<0.001) while if ASHA arranged or helped in arranging transport facility the probability of institutional delivery is increased by 1.67 times (p<0.01) than if she is not arranging transport facility. Further if ASHA facilitated to get JSY card to the pregnant women probability of going for full ANC is increases by 1.36 times (p<0.05) than reference. However if ASHA discuses about institutional delivery and approaches to get register than probability of getting TT injection is 1.88 and 1.64 times (p<0.01) higher than that if she did not discus. Further, Probability of benefits from JSY schemes is 1.25 times (p<0.001) higher among women who get married after 18 years. The probability of benefits from JSY schemes is 1.25 times (p<0.001) higher among women who get married after 18 year of age than before 18 years, it is also 1.28 times (p<0.001) and 1.32 times (p<0.001) higher among women have 1 to 8 year of schooling and with 9 and above years of schooling respectively than the women who never attended school. Those women who are working have 1.13 times (p<0.001) higher probability of getting benefits from JSY scheme than not working women. Surprisingly women belongs to wealthiest quintile are .53times (P<0.001) less aware about JSY scheme. Results conclude that work done by ASHA has great influence on maternal health care utilization in India. But results also show that still substantial numbers of needed population are far from utilization of these services. Place of delivery is significantly influenced by referral and transport facility arranged by ASHA.

Keywords: institutional delivery, JSY beneficiaries, referral faculty, public health

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6212 Maternal Deprivation as Predictor of Academic Performance and Psychosocial Adjustment of Primary School Pupils in Abeokuta Metropolis

Authors: Abayomi Olatoke Adejobi

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The study investigated maternal deprivation as predictor of academic performance and psychosocial adjustment of primary school pupils in Abeokuta metropolis. Three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Two hundred public primary school pupils were randomly selected as subjects for the study. The instruments used for data collection were Index of Family Relations (IFR) by Hudson, modified version of Psychosocial Adjustment Scale (PAS) by O’ bailey and Academic records of the pupils from Cumulative Records Folder (CRF). The data collected were statistically treated and the three hypotheses were tested using t-test and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Confident statistical methods at 0.05 alpha level. The results of the analysis showed that there is a significant difference in the academic performance of children who suffered maternal deprivation and those who did not (t – 5.61; df = 198; P < 0.05). Also, there was a significant relationship between psychosocial adjustment of children and maternal deprivation (r = 0.37, df = 10; P < 0.05), while there was no significant difference in academic performance of boys and girls who suffered maternal deprivation (t = 0.32; df = 109; P > 0.05). Based on the results some recommendations were made.

Keywords: maternal deprivation, psychosocial adjustment, academic performance, primary school pupils

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6211 Exploring Women Perceptions on the Benefit Package of the Free Maternal Health Policy under the Universal Health Coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Rural Upper West Region of Ghana: A Qualitative study

Authors: Alexander Suuk Laar, Emmanuel Bekyieriya, Sylvester Isang, Benjamin Baguune

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Introduction: In Ghana, despite the implementation of strategies and initiatives to ensure universal access to reproductive health and family planning (FP) services for the past two decades, interventions have not adequately addressed the access and utilization needs of women of reproductive age, especially in rural Ghana. To improve access and use of reproductive and maternal health services in Ghana, a free maternal care exemption policy under the universal health coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme was implemented in 2005. Despite the importance of FP, this service was left out of the benefit package of the policy. Low or no use of FP services is often associated with poor health among women. However, to date, there has been limited research on perspectives of women for not making FP services as part of the benefit package of the free maternal health services. This qualitative study explored perceptions of women on the comprehensiveness of the free maternal health benefit package and the effects on utilisation of services in the rural Upper West region of Ghana to improve services. Methods: This exploratory qualitative study used focus group discussions with pregnant and lactating women in three rural districts in the Upper West region of Ghana. Six focus groups were held with both pregnant women and lactating mothers at the time of the interview. Three focus group discussions were organised with the same category of women in each district. We used a purposive sampling procedure to select the participants from the districts. The interviews with the written consent of the participants lasted between 60 minutes and 120 minutes. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using Braun and Clarke thematic framework guidelines. Results: This research presents an in-depth account of women's perceptions on the effects associated with the uptake of FP services and its exclusion from the benefit package of the free maternal health policy. Our study found that participants did not support the exclusion of FP services in the benefit package. Participants mentioned factors hampering their access to and use of FP and contraceptive services to include the cost of services, distance and cost of transport to health facilities, lack of knowledge about FP services, socio-cultural norms and negative attitude of healthcare professionals. Participants are of the view that making FP services part of the benefit package could have addressed the cost aspect of services which act as the main barrier to improve the use of services by poor rural women. Conclusion: Women of reproductive age face cost barriers that limit their access to and use of FP and contraception services in the rural Upper West region of Ghana and need health policymakers to revise the free maternal health package to include FP services. It is essential for policymakers to begin considering revising the free maternal health policy benefit package to include FP services to help address the cost barrier for rural poor women to use services.

Keywords: benefit package, free maternal policy, women, Ghana, rural Upper West Region, Universal Health Coverage.

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