Evaluating Religious Influences on the Utilization of Maternal Health Services among Muslim and Christian Women in North-Central Nigeria

Maryam Al-Mujtaba, Llewellyn J. Cornelius, Hadiza Galadanci, Salome Erekaha, Joshua N. Okundaye, Olusegun A. Adeyemi, Nadia A. Sam-Agudu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction. Uptake of antenatal services is low in Nigeria; however, indicators in the Christian-dominated South have been better than in the Muslim-dominated North. This study evaluated religious influences on utilization of general and HIV-related maternal health services among women in rural and periurban North-Central Nigeria. Materials and Methods. Targeted participants were HIV-positive, pregnant, or of reproductive age in the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa. Themes explored were utilization of facility-based services, provider gender preferences, and Mentor Mother acceptability. Thematic and content approaches were applied to manual data analysis. Results. Sixty-eight (68) women were recruited, 72% Christian and 28% Muslim. There were no significant religious influences identified among barriers to maternal service uptake. All participants stated preference for facility-based services. Uptake limitations were mainly distance from clinic and socioeconomic dependence on male partners rather than religious restrictions. Neither Muslim nor Christian women had provider gender preferences; competence and positive attitude were more important. All women found Mentor Mothers highly acceptable. Conclusion. Barriers to uptake of maternal health services appear to be minimally influenced by religion. ANC/PMTCT uptake interventions should target male partner buy-in and support, healthcare provider training to improve attitudes, and Mentor Mother program strengthening and impact assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3645415
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Maryam Al-Mujtaba et al.

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