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Barriers to Use Maternity Care Service in Rural Areas among Mothers Who Give Birth, in Arba Minch Surrounding District, Gamo Gofa Zone, South Eastern Ethiopia, 2017: A Qualitative Study

Gesila Endashaw Yesera, Misgun shewangizaw Mekuria and Nathan Desalegn Degaga

Introduction: For many women, who are in a rural or remote area has difficulties, searching maternity care is often much more challenging than for those in city or regional areas. Women suffer from limited access and the added emotional and financial costs associated with this travel. The facilities available in rural areas do not provide comparable level of clinical services as tertiary facilities in major cities. Therefore the aim of this study is to assess barriers to use maternity care service in rural areas of Arba Minch surrounding district among mothers who give birth with in the last one year, having experience of barriers.

Methods: Phenomenological study was employed. For in-depth interview 30 women with delivery experience and 4 focus group discussion were used. Convenient sampling method was used. The word documents were then exported into open code 4.03 software for processing. Coding, synthesis one and synthesis two analysis was made using open code 4.03. In order to determine similarities and differences in the responses, findings for the Focus Group Discussion (FGDs) and in-depth interview (IDIs) were analyzed separately.

Result: 30 interviews and 4 FGD were conducted to explore barrier to use maternity care service in rural areas. Of the sixty two participants, there were eight men and fifty four women. All women and men were married. The summary of findings provides the themes that emerged based upon seven themes on barriers to maternity care services were Knowledge gaps around maternal care service, Unsupportive attitudes and social norms, Financial barriers, Barriers around health service provision, fear of operation, Husbands are key influencers and Preferring home delivery by traditional birth attendants.

Conclusion and recommendation: Involvement of husband in maternal care service use. Distance, social, cultural, health service provision, misunderstanding about operation and perceptional factor which hinder women to use maternity care in rural areas should be addressed. Designing social and behavioral change strategies to overcome such barriers and collaboration is needed with organization those works on culture and social system for intervening maternity service care utilization. Accountability around health services, therefore, is an important issue for many people.