Maternity waiting homes as component of birth preparedness and complication readiness for rural women in hard-to-reach areas in Ethiopia
Background: In rural areas of Ethiopia, 57% of births occur at home without the assistance of skilled birth attendants, geographical inaccessibility being one of the main factors that hinder skilled birth attendance. Establishment of maternity waiting homes (MWH) is part of a strategy to improve access to skilled care by bringing pregnant women physically close to health facilities. This study assessed barriers to MWHs in Arba Minch Zuria District, Southern Ethiopia. Methods: A community-based
... A community-based cross-sectional study was undertaken from February 01 to 30, 2019. Study participants were selected by computer-generated random numbers from a list of women who gave birth from 2017 to 2018 in Arba Minch Health and Demographic Surveillance System site. Data were collected using a pre-tested and interviewer-administered questionnaire. STATA statistical software version-15 was used for data analysis, and variables with p-values ≤0.25 in bivariate analysis were considered for multivariable logistic regression analysis. Level of statistical significance was declared at a -value <0.05. Qualitative data were analyzed manually based on thematic areas.Results: MWH utilization was found to be 8.4%. Wealth index (lowest wealth quintile aOR 7.3; 95% CI 1.2, 42), decisions made jointly with male partners (husbands) for obstetric emergencies (aOR 3.6; 95% CI 1.0, 12), birth preparedness plan practice (aOR 6.5; 95% CI 2.3, 18.2), complications in previous childbirth (aOR 3; 95% 1.0, 9), history of previous institutional childbirth (aOR 12; 95% CI 3.8, 40), residence in areas within two hours walking distance to the nearest health facility (aOR 3.3; 95% CI: 1.4, 7.7), and ease of access to transport in obstetric emergencies (aOR 8.8; 95% CI: 3.9, 19) were factors that showed significant associations with MWH utilization.Conclusions: A low proportion of women has ever used MWHs in the study area. To increase MWH utilization, promoting birth preparedness practices, incorporating MWH as part of a personalized birth plan, improving access to health institutions for women living far away and upgrading existing MWHs are highly recommended.