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Lessons learned from a maternal health study in Nandi County, Kenya

This research brief investigates why many women in Kenya choose to deliver at home instead of at a healthcare facility. 

Many women in Kenya still choose to deliver at home instead of at a healthcare facility, even though prenatal care and delivery is officially free of charge in public healthcare facilities. We interviewed community health volunteers and traditional birth attendants in Western Kenya to determine what the barriers and facilitators are that influence women to choose or not choose a facility delivery.

The most common reason given for avoiding facility deliveries was the attitude of healthcare staff. There were reports of both neglect during labor and of verbal and physical abuse during labor. The most frequently mentioned facilitators were the removal of costs and availability of ambulances. Several simple interventions, such as providing screens for privacy, were suggested to improve delivery experiences and encourage women to deliver at a healthcare facility.

Understanding the reasoning behind these decisions helps in designing multi-faceted interventions to increase facility deliveries.

Click here to read the brief.

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