MATERNAL MORTALITY AND ACCESS TO PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN NIGER EAST SENATORIAL ZONE, NIGER STATE NIGERIA
The general objective of the study was to examine maternal mortality and access to Primary Health Care (PHC) in Niger East Senatorial Zone, Niger State Nigeria. The study adopted a cross sectional survey design. The sample size of 1,445 respondents (women of reproductive age) was selected using multi-stage sampling techniques. The major survey instrument was questionnaire, complemented by Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and In-Depth Interviews (IDI). Quantitativedata were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe and interpret the data. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic method. Verbatim quotes were used to complement the results of the quantitative data. The findings revealed that: level of education, who takes decision on health matter, income and age were determinants of access to maternal health service in PHC. There was significant relationship between socioeconomic index of women household and access maternal health services in PHC (P<0.05)Furthermore, women in households where joint decision made on health matters have access to maternal health services in PHC than women in household where men monopolized decision on health matters (P<0.05). The level of education of a women and access to maternal health services in PHC was statistically significant (P< 0.05). There was no significant relationship between proximity and access to maternal health service in PHC (P>0.05.). Similarly, the attitude of health personnel and access to maternal health service in PHC by women indicated no significant relationship (P>0.05).The four major ways in which maternal mortality can be mitigated are: an effective poverty alleviation programme; employment and deployment of qualified health personnel to PHC facilities especially those located in rural areas; ensuring services and drugs are made free to pregnant women in all PHC facilities; and provision of modern medical equipment in PHC facilities.
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