Barriers to utilization of childbirth services of a rural birthing center in Nepal: A qualitative study
© 2017 Khatri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Maternal mortality and morbidity are public health problems in Nepal. In rural communities, many women give birth at home without the support of a skilled birth attendant, despite the existence of rural birthing centers. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and provide pragmatic recommendations for better service delivery and use of rural birthing centers. Methods: We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with service users and providers, and three focus group discussions with community key informants in a rural community of Rukum district. We used the Adithya Cattamanchi logic model as a guiding framework for data analysis. Results: Irregular and poor quality services, inadequate human and capital resources, and poor governance were health system challenges which prevented service delivery. Contextual barriers including difficult geography, poor birth preparedness practices, harmful culture practices and traditions and low level of trust were also found to contribute to underutilization of the birthing center. Conclusion: The rural birthing center was not providing quality services when women were in need, which meant women did not use the available services properly because of systematic and contextual barriers. Approaches such as awareness-raising activities, local resource mobilization, ensuring access to skilled providers and equipment and other long-term infrastructure development works could improve the quality and utilization of childbirth services in the rural birthing center. This has resonance for other centers in Nepal and similar countries.
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