Determinants of maternal health care service utilization among pregnant women in Uganda
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Maternal Health Care services refers to the care provided by skilled health care professionals to pregnant women and adolescent girls in order to ensure the best health conditions for both mother and baby throughout the pregnancy period. The main objective of the study is to explore the determinants that are associated with the utilization of maternal health care service in Uganda. The study used secondary data from the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey dataset. A sample of 1872 pregnant women aged between 15- 49 years were interviewed. Data were analyzed using Stata 15. Frequency distributions and Pearson’s Chi-square test were used during data analysis. The level of significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. The study results show that 66% pregnant women in the reproductive age (15-19) in Uganda utilized maternal health care services. Utilization of maternal health care services was significantly associated with age, residence, education level, wealth index, occupation, number of living children, household head age and partner’s education. It was higher among women aged 25-29 (80.2%), living in rural residences (68.5%), with no education attainment (77.7%), in the poor wealth quintile (71.9%), in Agricultural-self-employment (72.2%), with six and more children (85.1%), household head age 30-34 years (79.5%) and primary attainment of the partner’s education (73.1%). The study recommends creation of interventional programmes with the aim of empowering women in various economic activities to become economically self-sustained which increases affordability and access in utilization of antenatal care services. Also, reformation of existing and establishment of new health facilities to cater for the needs of pregnant women. There should also be promotion and encouragement of women and their partners to attain higher education to enlighten their knowledge about safe maternal and antenatal care practices.