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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 Dec 14;18(1):493. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2139-9.

Male involvement in the maternal health care system: implication towards decreasing the high burden of maternal mortality.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O. Box: 196, Gondar, Ethiopia.



One of the essential components of antenatal care (ANC) is birth preparedness and complication readiness (BP/CR). Strengthening BP/CR measures is one of the principal strategies to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. The current study aimed at determining the level of men's knowledge about obstetric danger signs, and their involvement in BP/CR among community of Northwest Ethiopia.


A cross-sectional community based survey was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from May 2016 to July 2016. Data was analyzed by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software Version 21.0 for Windows. Participants' socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of obstetric danger signs, and level of involvement in BP/CR were described using frequencies and percentages. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regressions were employed to explore the associated factors and P-value of 0.05 was used as a cut-off point to declare significant association.


From 856 men who were invited for the study, 824 men agreed for the interview giving a response rate of 96.2%. Half of the men stated one danger sign that may occur during pregnancy 407(49.4%); one third during delivery 271(32.9%); and 213(25.8%) during postpartum period. Among all participants, 256(31.1%) had not made any preparations; 363(44.1%) made one step; 116(14.1%) made two steps; 82(9.9%) made three steps; 5(0.6%) made four steps; 2(0.24%) made five steps; and no one made all the birth preparation steps during the birth of their last child. BP/CR was significantly association with knowledge of at least one danger sign during pregnancy (AOR = 3.3, 95% CI: 3.1, 3.9); during delivery (AOR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.8); and post partum period (AOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.4). Furthermore, BP/CR was found to be positively associated with being married, completing college education, escorting wife to antenatal care, and urban residence.


Men's level of knowledge about obstetric danger signs, and their involvement in BP/CR was found to be very poor. Considering the importance of male involvement in the maternal health care, it is recommended to advocate policies and strategies that can improve awareness of men and enhance their engagement in the maternal care.


Birth preparedness; Complication readiness; Ethiopia

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