Factors shaping decisions to utilize maternal health services among the urban poor of south Delhi: A longitudinal case study

Original Article

Author Details : Kriti Singh*

Volume : 7, Issue : 4, Year : 2020

Article Page : 113-119


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Background: Ending preventable maternal mortality remains one of the most critical challenges despite significant progress over past decades. Maternal mortality remains high and the burden of death is disproportionately higher among the marginalized population. Contrary to the view that those residing in urban areas have better access to quality health services, the health outcomes of the urban poor are not better than rural communities. Data on urban poor are concealed within urban averages, and few studies provide disaggregated data on spatial dimensions of population in urban areas.
Aims: The study was conducted to understand variations and factors responsible for decisions to seek healthcare services for maternal healthcare.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted using qualitative case study design and qualitative data were collected from fifty pregnant women enrolled from two slums of south Delhi after informed consent.
The slums were revisited twice after a gap of two/three years to understand changes in maternal health seeking behaviour of the communities. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology.
Results: The maternal health seeking behaviour among urban poor is determined by structural inequalities, predisposing factors of individuals including age, income, education, and parity. Other factors that had a bearing on their decision to seek care included legal status of the slums, and its inhabitants. Incremental changes in health seeking behaviour overtime was observed due to government policies/programs implemented to benefit the poor.
Conclusions: It is essential to build a sensitive and responsive health system that is acceptable to the most marginalized to enhance access to health services.
Key Messages: Understanding factors contributing to urban poor seek maternal health care services is necessary to build a sensitive and responsible heath system that is acceptable to the most marginalized and will ensure its use.

Keywords: Urban poor, Maternal healthcare, Health seeking behaviour, Qualitative study.

How to cite : Singh K , Factors shaping decisions to utilize maternal health services among the urban poor of south Delhi: A longitudinal case study. J Community Health Manag 2020;7(4):113-119

Copyright © 2020 by author(s) and J Community Health Manag. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (creativecommons.org)

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