This study explored the factors and challenges experienced in utilizing ANC [antenatal care] and choosing a delivery place in order to inform the implementation of a proposed intervention aimed at improving access to maternal delivery services. Six focus group discussions were conducted among women aged 15-49 years who had ever had a child and were residing in eastern Uganda in the districts of Kamuli, Soroti, Tororo and Pallisa. The findings of this study indicate that demand side barriers such as transport and cost of maternal health services are a major challenge affecting utilization. Services offered by TBA's [traditional birth attendants] were more accessible in terms of distance and cost. Interventions to improve the attitude of health workers and ensure abolition of informal fees may be helpful in improving utilization of formal services. It was believed that a project to provide free transport for accessing maternal health services would greatly improve the health of women in the region.
Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda, 2 pp.