A Phenomenological Exploration of Women's Utilisation of Maternal Healthcare Services in Bauchi State, Nigeria

Hadiza Y. Azi, Tracey Redwood, Melinda Spencer


Despite the government provision of maternal healthcare centres, the high maternal mortality rate in northern Nigeria has been an issue of concern. The level of utilisation of maternal healthcare centres has not been found encouraging. Hence, this study was carried out to explore the factors affecting women's utilisation of maternal health care services in Bauchi State, Nigeria. A descriptive phenomenology research design was adopted, while purposive and snowballing sampling techniques were used for participants' selection. Data were collected from 23 reproductive women, 5 married men, 2 skilled health workers, and 2 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and semi-structured interviews. The data collected were analysed with Colaizzi's-7 steps analytic technique using NVIVO Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). Two themes and six clusters of themes emerged from the data analysis. The emerging themes were cultural belief systems and trust in the traditional healthcare system. The themes under the first theme were preference for female health workers, husband dominance, belief about death, and masculinity in pregnancy. The cluster of themes under the second theme was reliance on traditional treatment and support from TBAs' support. The community members were underutilising maternal healthcare centres. The results showed the need to pay more attention to awareness and sensitisation on the significance of healthcare in avoiding preventable deaths and promoting personal human responsibility on healthcare matters.

Keywords: Reproductive women, Maternal healthcare services, Phenomenology

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/110-01

Publication date:August 31st 2023


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