Unmet Need of Maternal Child Health and Family Planning Services in Rural Community in Ethiopia

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 10:45 AM

Tae Wha Lee, PhD1
Euisook Kim, RN2
Il Sun Ko, PhD3
Sue Kim, RN, PhD2
Hyeonkyeong Lee, PhD, RN4
1College of Nursing, Nursing Environments and Systems, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
2College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
3Department of Clinical Nursing Science, Yonsei University, College of Nursing, Seoul, South Korea
4Public Health, Mental Health, and Administrative Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, IL

Learning Objective 1: understand the maternal child health and family planning health issues in Ethiopia

Learning Objective 2: understand the necessity of community based programs to intervene health problems related to MCH & FP.

Purpose: Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa, with a high fertility rate of 5.3%. Ethiopia also faces a heavy burden of disease with a growing prevalence of infectious and communicable diseases, resulting in poor maternal and child health status.This study aims at exploring unmet need of maternal child health (MCH) and family planning(FP) services in rural community, Ethiopia and to provide basic data for nurse-led community based programs

Methods: Focus groups discussions were employed to collect data with two major informant groups including 81 participants: community groups and health providers groups. The data was collected from different community members between 15-24 February 2008 at Hettosa, Ethiopia.

Results: The main reason for avoiding family planning was religious belief especially within Muslim families. The Majority of women had the misconception that they could avoid pregnancy by breastfeeding. MCH & FP programs need to focus on women with little or no education, women of higher parity, rural areas, and teenagers. According to health care providers, there was huge gap in MCH service delivery. The government budget is not enough to cover the costs of medicine or stock of supplies for pregnant woman and sick children, not even iron supply. Most of the immunization services were conducted in the clinics. There was a huge problem of child malnutrition. Feeding center for malnourished children and nutrition demonstration for mothers were desperate.  In terms of health care provider competencies, there were no refresher and on-the-job trainings provided for the staff  and working environment does not provide the opportunity to practice. Conclusion: The results revealed important suggestions for quality MCH and FP services in the community in terms of building the infrastructural capacity of health provision, enhancing  the capacity of health providers through trainings, and community participation with religious leaders and target group of women.