Author(s): Abera M, Gebremariam A, Belachew T
BACKGROUND: Evidence show that lack of access to and use of, essential obstetric care services to be a crucial factor that contributes to the high maternal morbidity and mortality. Skilled attendance during labor, delivery and early post-partum period could reduce deaths due to obstructed labor, hemorrhage, sepsis and eclampsia. There is limited information on the mothers' use of skilled delivery services in the study area. This study assessed the predictors of safe delivery service utilization in Arsi Zone, Southeast Ethiopia. METHODS: A cross- sectional community based study using quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted from February 15(th) to March 15(th) 2006. A total of 1089 women who had at least one birth one year prior to the study were involved in the study from nine rural and four urban kebeles in three Woredas (Districts) selected using a systematic sampling method from all households in the study area. A pre-tested structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Information on the utilization of safe delivery service and socio-demographic, individual and institutional factors and past obstetric history were collected. Focus Group Discussion guide was used for qualitative data collection. The data were edited, cleaned, and entered into a computer and analyzed using SPSS for windows version 12.0. RESULT: One thousand seventy four women who had at least one birth were interviewed making a response rate 98.6%. Two hundred seventy one (75.0%) of urban and 373(52.0%) rural women received antenatal care from skilled health professional at least once during their last pregnancy. Thirty-one (4.3%) of rural and 145 (40.4%) of urban women delivered in health institution. In multivariate analysis showed that residential area OR= 8.5, 95%CI; (5.1,13.9), parity OR=0.18, 95%CI; (0.08, 0.42), and ANC service use OR= 4.5, 95%CI; (2.2,8.9), and maternal education OR=4.6, 95%CI; (1.7,12.8), were most significant predictors of safe delivery service use by mothers (P< 0.01). CONCLUSION: Birth attended by skilled personnel was low in the study area. Maternal education, her birth experience and her use of prenatal services are important predictors. Promoting information, education and communication on safe delivery service utilization, expansion of health service and empowerment of women are needed.