Perceived Barriers to Utilization of Maternal Health and Child Health Services: Qualitative Insights from Rural Uttar Pradesh, India

Neelanjana Pandey, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The study attempts to understand the individual and community factors and perceptions that influence women’s behaviours and utilization of maternal and child health care (MCH) provided by government. An investigation of barriers and facilitating factors has been done, through 48 semi-structured in-depth interviews with women and 26 semi-structured in-depth interviews with providers at different level of rural health care facilities in selected villages of Lucknow district, Uttar Pradesh, India. A content analysis to ensure utilization of MCH care services has been performed using the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for the current public health care system. Support of household members, previous health care experiences and social networks in the village and interaction with health workers affect women's decision to seek care. Regardless of physical accessibility, acceptability of maternal health services in the community emerges as critical avenue for the utilization of both maternal and child health care services.

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Presented in Session 15: Qualitative Methods in Studying Health and Mortality