Spurring the Uptake of Maternal Healthcare Services in Culturally Endowed Communities in Elgeyo Marakwet, Kenya
Kemoi, Cheboi Solomon
Nyamilu Mailu, Kimeu Anastasiah
Kibaara, Rucha Kenneth
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Enhancing the well-being of the mother and newborn is an explicit goal in health. Of the most legendary neglected influencer is patient centered requirement. The hope for people-oriented maternal health interventions in societies is hinged on cultural differentials therefore, contextualizing beliefs, values and expectations is important. A study to identify maternal healthcare services needs amongst women in Marakwet communities was undertaken. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was an explorative qualitative study. A stratified list of cultural subgroups was developed and used to purposively select study participants. Twelve focus group discussions (FGDs) and fourteen key informant interviews (KIIs) were undertaken. Data was collected using semi-structured FGD and KII guides. The data was analyzed using five steps of conventional content analysis. RESULTS: The finding of the study revealed that support and care during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and postpartum are systematic defined informational, instrumental and emotional processes pivoted by individual and society pathways. Social-cultural needs include continuous pregnancy and labor care, companionship, elective delivery methods, placenta interpretation, placenta disposal, newborn celebration, privacy and mother-child welfare services. Choice of delivery assistant is a dynamic social construct informed by cultural values such as initiation, age, gender and experience. Health behavior dynamics is therefore context-dependent, embodied by social network and social support as well as psychological and physiological expectation. CONCLUSION: Women maternity needs are multiple and diverse. Adapting care to meet the contextualized individual and community needs may spur positive maternal health seeking behaviour among women and assist healthcare workers to provide culturally competent care to improve health outcomes. Educational outreach and behaviour change communications to demystify and tackle retrogressive cultural practices should be increased.