Factors associated with low male partners’ involvement in maternal and child health services in Suba sub county, Western Kenya

Noel Otieno Odhiambo, Harrison Atieli, Louisa Ndunyu


Objective: Male involvement (MI) in maternal and child health (MCH) services such as pre-conception care, antenatal care (ANC), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, skilled delivery is an integral intervention that improves MCH outcomes. Suba sub County in western Kenya has the highest prevalence of HIV in Kenya. Moreover, data is skewed on men’s knowledge and perceptions regarding their involvement in MCH services.

Methods: This mixed method cross-sectional study, collected data using questionnaire among 354 male participants, and conducted 4 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 6 key informant interviews (KIIs).  STATA version 11 was used for quantitative data analysis. The thematic content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data.

Results: The majority of the participants (52.3%) were aged >30 years, 44.9% had primary level of education and 63.1% engaged in fishing activities. About 54.5% of the participants were not aware of the Ministry of Health’s effort to enhance men’s attendance to MCH clinics, while men’s age, various cultural taboos and provider’s attitude were perceived as influencing MI in MCH services. Overall 16.3% of the participants were involved in MCH services. Health worker provider’s attitude towards men (OR 0.5, 95% Cl 0.3 to 0.8), men’s preferred time of attending MCH clinic (OR 6.7, 95% Cl 1.1-43.5), the frequency of men accompanying spouse to MCH clinic (OR 0.1, 95% Cl 0.04-0.3), duration taken to reach MCH clinic (OR 5.6, 95% Cl 1.3-24.6), use of family planning methods (OR 0.36, 95% Cl 0.18-0.72) and awareness about the methods used to reduce HIV mother to child transmission (MTCT) (OR 35, 95% Cl 0.19-0.65) were independently associated with men’s attendance of the MCH clinics.

Conclusion: Significantly there was low male involvement in MCH services (16.3% compared to the > 30% targets by Kenya PMTCT guidelines, 2012) in this high HIV prevalent region. Enhanced dissemination and awareness creation on the importance of MI in MCH services could improve male involvement

Key words: Male Involvement, Maternal and Child Health Services, Knowledge, Perceptions and Correlates, Suba sub county western Kenya

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/60-15

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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ISSN 2422-8419

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