Factors affecting home delivery in rural Tanzania

Mrisho, M; Schellenberg, JA; Mushi, AK; Obrist, B; Mshinda, H; Tanner, M; Schellenberg, D; (2007) Factors affecting home delivery in rural Tanzania. Tropical medicine & international health, 12 (7). pp. 862-872. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01855.x

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Background Studies of factors affecting place of delivery have rarely considered the influence of gender roles and relations within the household. This study combines an understanding of gender issues relating to health and help-seeking behaviour with epidemiological knowledge concerning place of delivery. Methods In-depth interviews, focus group discussions and participant observation were used to explore determinants of home delivery in southern Tanzania. Quantitative data were collected in a cross-sectional survey of 21 600 randomly chosen households. Results Issues of risk and vulnerability, such as lack of money, lack of transport, sudden onset of labour, short labour, staff attitudes, lack of privacy, tradition and cultures and the pattern of decision-making power within the household were perceived as key determinants of the place of delivery. More than 9000 women were interviewed about their most recent delivery in the quantitative survey. There were substantial variations between ethnic groups with respect to place of delivery (P < 0.0001). Women who lived in male-headed households were less likely to deliver in a health facility than women in female-headed households (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.80-0.91). Mothers with primary and higher education were more likely to deliver at a health facility (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.23-1.38). Younger mothers and the least poor women were also more likely to deliver in a health facility compared with the older and the poorest women, respectively. Conclusions To address neonatal mortality, special attention should be paid to neonatal health in both maternal and child health programmes. The findings emphasize the need for a systematic approach to overcome health-system constraints, community based programmes and scale-up effective low-cost interventions which are already available.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: home delivery, risk factors, Tanzania, Maternal mortality, survival, services, health, Attitude of Health Personnel, Educational Status, Fees and Charges, Female, Gender Identity, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Home Childbirth, economics, psychology, Humans, Labor, Obstetric, psychology, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, psychology, Pregnancy, Quality of Health Care, Risk Factors, Rural Health, Socioeconomic Factors, Tanzania, epidemiology, Transportation
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
PubMed ID: 17596254
Web of Science ID: 247562000010
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/9212


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