A RESEARCH REPORT SUBMITTED TO UGANDA NURSES AND MIDWIVES BOARD IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF A DIPLOMA IN MIDWIFERY
NASUNA ZAHARA AUGUST, 2017
REG NO: MI6/U003/DME/004
Pregnant women require uninterrupted support from their male counterparts to see the healthy and happy outcomes of their pregnancies. It is needful that all men accompany their pregnant wives during antenatal care visits. The exclusion of men from maternal and child health care could lead to few women seeking maternal health services and as a result increasingly worsening the negative maternal and child health outcomes among women and children.
The study established the socio-cultural and health facility related factors influencing male participation in antenatal care (ANC) and suggested strategies for improving male participation in ANC at Uganda Martyrs’ Hospital-Ibanda.
This was a cross-sectional study employing quantitative methods. Using a reliably validated self- administered semi-structured questionnaire, data was collected for one week from 76 clients consisting of both pregnant women and their husbands who turned up for ANC. Manual analysis was done upon summarizing
data on excel spreadsheet.
Only 7.9% of the study participants were men. Most of the study participants had children (84.2%).
Up to a quarter (25%) of the respondents reported that their occupation did not offer opportunity for men to participate in ANC. Majority of the study participants had ever escorted or been escorted for ANC (86%).
The main reasons for having never (been) escorted (by) spouse for ANC were: spouse not believing in ANC (36.4%),
engaged in heavy drinking (27.3%) and being afraid HIV status could be revealed (18.2%). Most participants were able to state knowing HIV status only as a core benefit for visiting ANC as a couple (77.6%). Majority of the respondents noted that the health workers were rude to men (80.3%) and less than a half (42.1%) thought the health workers were caring towards men. The main hindrances to male participation in ANC were; long waiting time (80.3%) and lack of respect for men among health workers (77.9%). As suggestions for improving
male participation; advertisement (75%), health education (72.4%) and writing official letters to
men (63.2%) for ANC were recommended.
Male participation in antenatal care visits persistently remained quite low at Uganda Martyrs’ Hospital – Ibanda. This trend was a result of a compendium of both socio-cultural and health facility related factors. The administration of Uganda Martyrs‟ Hospital – Ibanda, the District Health Office of Ibanda and all its stakeholders should direct their efforts towards improving male participation in antenatal care visit; otherwise, the achievements realized on maternal and child health in the past decades risk being permanently reversed.