n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Clients' perspectives of quality emergency obstetric care in public health facilities in Ethiopia : a qualitative survey

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


This paper describes clients' perspectives of the provision of quality Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) in public health facilities in Ethiopia. The contribution of EmOC in reducing maternal mortality in Ethiopia is minimal as evidenced by inadequate provision and low utilisation of EmOC services. Client centred EmOC improves provision and utilization. Yet, research examining clients' perspectives of EmOC is limited. Exploratory, descriptive, phenomenological and qualitative research designs were used. In-depth interviews were conducted with women who had complications during child birth and received EmOC in three hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Constituents of clients' perceptions of quality EmOC provision include aspects such as safety, courteous treatment, respect and humility, equal treatment, emotional support and encouragement, responsiveness, follow up and availability of medicine and drugs in a public health facility. Compassionate care of providers, listening to clients, emotional support, collaboration between providers/team work and availability of life saving interventions created good experience for clients. Clients were disappointed with EmOC provision because of lack of courteous care by female providers, undermining attitude of providers, reluctance to attend and respond to clients, ethical misconducts and misunderstandings in the care process. The barriers for use of EmOC at public health facilities include discrimination, cost of care, asking clients to buy drugs and supplies and referral weakness. Barriers for the provision of quality EmOC are inadequate staffing along with staff burnout and facility infrastructure related barriers. In conclusion, the clients' perspectives regarding the quality of EmOC service provision in public health facilities in Ethiopia were views on the quality of EmOC, EmOC that created good experience, client disappointment with provision of EmOC, barrier on the use of EmOC and barrier on the provision of EmOC. Clients' experiences of the provision of EmOC influence their future decisions to seek care.

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