n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Factors influencing the utilisation of maternal and child health care services in Balaka District Malawi

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Under utilisation of mother and child health care services in Malawi may contribute to maternal and child deaths. The purpose of the study was to describe the utilisation of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) care services by mothers from four selected health facilities in the Balaka District of Malawi. Non-experimental quantitative descriptive research was conducted based on Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization. A combination of proportionate stratified sampling and convenience sampling was used and data was collected by means of self-administered questionnaires. Computer program SPSS 16.0 version for Windows was used to analyse data and compile descriptive statistics. In this study the regular attendance of MCH care services was investigated by cross tabulation with different factors, including: level of formal education; knowledge of the available services; health beliefs and values; place of residence; employment and satisfaction with service delivery. It was concluded that women must first appreciate the significance of the available health services in order for them to utilise the health services. Irregular attendance of health services does not necessarily refer to a negative attitude of clients toward health but can be attributed to factors such as family responsibilities and distance from the health facilities. The recommendations included that Balaka District health management team should consider developing strategies to improve mobile MCH care services in the district. Women in the district must be assisted to improve their financial and social status, which might positively influence their utilisation of health care services.

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