Barriers and challenges pregnant women encounter using maternal health care services in West Africa: A Systematic Review
Background: Enhancing the health of mothers, infants and children is a crucial public health goal in West Africa. This is derived from a series of factors which include a fundamental lack of maternal health care services, limited access to such services and poor nutrition. These factors all contribute to poor health for a signifcant number of West African mothers and this directly correlates with poor health of their new-borns. West African women are unable to access the
same maternity services that are readily available to women in developed countries due to barriers that exist in accessing maternal health care. This
research will provide a greater understanding of the barriers they face.
Methods: A literature review was conducted using the following electronic databases, Medline, CINAHL and PubMed. Within these databases a search was conducted to identify published literature relating to barriers and challenges in using maternal health care services. Articles from the years 2000 and 2017 were used. English language studies, titles and abstracts were used for searching database systems. Search terms using truncation and Boolean operators to locate relevant articles were used, 10 relevant papers were identifed.
Results: 3 types of barriers were identifed, perception of risk, infrastructure due to inadequate road networks, patient related barriers due to lack of information on patients proved to hinder women accessing antenatal care (ANC) services.
Conclusion: Barriers to the use of maternal health care services needs improvement, policies and existing interventions needs to be strenghthend if there is going to be a decrease in maternal mortalities and better health outcome.
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