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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2002 Nov;22(6):600-3.

Barriers to the use of antenatal and obstetric care services in rural Kano, Nigeria.

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Department of Geography, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.


The objective of this study was to identify the sociocultural and economic factors that act as barriers to women's use of antenatal care services and hospital delivery in a rural community in Kano State, Northern Nigeria. The study was based on an interview of 107 pregnant women conducted by a trained midwife in the native language of the area. Findings indicate that the majority of women (88%) (CI = 81.8-94.2%) in the study area did not attend for antenatal care, and 96.3% (CI = 93.0-99.8%) had delivered or plan to deliver at home without a skilled attendant. Major barriers identified were economic, cultural and those related to the women's perception of their condition. The study recommends that poverty reduction and economic empowerment of rural women are prerequisites for any tangible improvement in the utilisation of antenatal care and obstetric delivery services.

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