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Year : 1984  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 122-7

Extent of utilisation of maternal care services of P.H.C. by the families of a rural area.

Correspondence Address:
S K Ray

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6536630

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The utilization of the maternal health care services offered by an upgraded primary health care (PHC) facility in a rural area of West Bengal, India was assessed. Information on the use of the maternal services by pregnant women over a 5-year period was collected from a house-to-house sample of 100 families living less than 1 hour away from the health facility and having at least 1 child born into the family in the previous 5-year period. Women in 58% of the families used the prenatal services of the facility, 6% received prenatal care from private practitioners, and 36% received no prenatal care. Reasons given for not using the facility were 1) using the clinic was too time consuming, 2) the staff was unfriendly, 3) a lack of interest in the services provided. There was no significant differences between prenatal service utililizers and nonuser in regard to caste differences. Utilizers were somewhat more likely to live in households with a literate household head than nonusers. The number of visits made by the utilizers ranged from 1-5, but many respondents had difficulty recalling the exact number. Utilizers were no more likely than nonusers to use the delivery services of the PHC. Among the 58 women who used either the prenatal services of the PHC or of private practitioners, 34 had their deliveries at the PHC, 23 at home and 1 in the hospital. Among the 42 women who received no prenatal care, 15 gave birth at the PHC center, 20 at home, and 4 at nursing homes. Home deliveries were conducted either by untrained midwives or by family members. 3 cases of neonatal tetanus and 1 case of maternal tetanus were reported in the community during the 5 year period. All of these births occurred at home. Only 6% of the 100 mothers used the postnatal services of the PHC center. The findings indicate that the provision of upgraded services by itself is insufficient to overcome the lack of health care motivation on the part of the target population.

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