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Socio-demographic factors influencing health programme usage by mothers in Nigeria: implications for policy action

Dominic E. Azuh, Covenant University, Nigeria

In spite of both national and international efforts on reducing deaths among pregnant mothers, maternal mortality is still soaring, as more than half a million women die from pregnancy and related causes annually. Maternal mortality level in Nigeria is put officially at 800 per 100,000 live births. Improving programme use would likely reduce the incidence of maternal deaths in Nigeria. For this reason, socio-demographic factors being the least focused are considered. The study employed face-to-face structured interview and focus group research methods. The findings show that mother’s age, education, occupation, distances to the health facility and cost of antenatal treatment are significant accelerators of programme use by mothers. While the paper provides a guide for informed decision on maternal health service usage by government and related planning agencies, it also suggests involvement of males in reproductive health issues, compulsory maternal health education and job empowerment for the prospective mothers.

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Presented in Session 120: Utilization of maternal health services