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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 13-17

Perception of orthodox health care centers among pregnant women attending traditional birth attendants clinics in two local government areas of Lagos State

1 AIDS Prevention Initiative of Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M Balogun
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background and Objective: Adequate antenatal care and skilled obstetric assistance during delivery are important strategies that significantly reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. This study aimed to assess the awareness, attitudes and perception of orthodox health care centres among pregnant women patronizing traditional birth attendants in Mushin and Lagos Island local government areas of Lagos state. Methods: The survey was a community-based descriptive cross-sectional survey that employed interviews to collect data from 300 antenatal care attendees of seven traditional birth attendants' clinics in Lagos Island and Mushin local government areas between December 2010 and January 2011 using a structured questionnaire. Results: The women ranged in age from 17-43 years with a mean age of 27.6 ± 4.6 SD and most of them were primigravidas (41.5%), married (88%) and traders (44.1%). Most of the women (61%) and their husbands (56.7%) had completed their secondary education. The majority (81.7%) of respondents were aware of a modern health facility around where they lived, the most commonly known being private hospitals (43.7%). Most of them (67.3%) were aware of antenatal care services provided at these facilities but only 31.3% had ever made use of the antenatal services. Most of the women were not willing to deliver in hospitals because they didn't like the attitude of the health workers (37.3%) and because it was far from their houses (12.7%); the majority (75%) preferring to deliver with traditional birth attendants because they give good service. However, almost all (98.5%) of the women that had children took them to the orthodox health facilities for immunization, primarily the primary health care centers (55.7%). Conclusion: Traditional birth attendants are patronized by a wide array of women who are aware of orthodox health facilities but have a negative attitude towards their services. Improvements in communication and interpersonal skills of modern health care providers and collaboration between modern health care providers and traditional birth attendants are recommended in order to have better maternal and child outcomes in Nigeria.

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