Male Partner Involvement in Utilization of Preconception Care in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Orang, Miriam Kwamboka
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This study sought to establish male partner involvement in preconception care utilization among men in Embakasi East Sub-county, Nairobi City County, Kenya. The study specifically sought to determine the proportion of men involved in preconception care, their knowledge levels, attitude, existence of spousal communication and challenges affecting male partner involvement in preconception care utilization. Most men are the bread winners of their families and sole decision makers; this makes them have a strong influence on women‟s health and their access to care. However, it is evident that most men are not involved in preconception care as matters of childbearing are left to women. The study employed descriptive cross-sectional community based study design. The study used both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The study targeted a sample size of 422 respondents, who were systematic sampled for study. Quantitative data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires while qualitative data was collected using focused group discussion guides with study respondents and key informant interview schedules with female partners. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22.0. The results were presented in frequency tables, charts, percentages and graphs. Qualitative data was triangulated with quantitative data as direct quotes or narrations from focused group discussion and key informant interview respondents. Inferential statistics were done using Chi Square tests to determine the association between study variables at 95% confidence interval (p<0.05). The results revealed that only 35% of respondents were involved in utilization of preconception care services. 65% of respondents had low knowledge levels which was significantly associated (p=0.031) with utilization of preconception care. 64% of respondents had negative attitude towards male involvement in preconception care utilization. Spousal communication aspects such as respect for one another‟s opinion (p=0.018), commitment to relationship (p=0.001) and talking about preconception care (p=0.013) were associated with male partner involvement in preconception care utilization. The study further revealed that challenges which impeded male involvement in preconception care utilization included lack of access to health facility (p=0.003), time to accompany partners to seek medical care (p=0.002) and institutional practices (p=0.001). The study therefore, revealed low rates of male partner involvement in utilization of preconception care, which was attributed to low knowledge levels and negative attitude towards its utilization. Furthermore, there were low rates (35%) of utilization of male partner involvement in preconception care utilization in Embakasi East sub-county. The study recommends creation of awareness and sensitization programs to the general public through health messages to improve male partner involvement in preconception care utilization.