Original Research

Perspectives of pregnant women on the utilisation of a maternity waiting home near Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in Oshikoto Region, Namibia

Daniel O. Ashipala, Medusalem H. Joel, Louise Pretorius
South African Family Practice | Vol 66, No 1 : Part 2| a5943 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v66i1.5943 | © 2024 Daniel O. Ashipala, Medusalem H. Joel, Louise Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 March 2024 | Published: 14 May 2024

About the author(s)

Daniel O. Ashipala, Department of General Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia
Medusalem H. Joel, Department of General Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia
Louise Pretorius, Department of General Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

Abstract

Background: Despite the efforts of Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services to build maternity waiting homes (MWHs), few pregnant women make use of them. Long distances among the general population in Namibia limit the utilisation of MWHs. Little research has investigated what factors are limiting the use of these facilities despite the urgent need for them. The aim of this study thus was to explore and describe the perspectives of pregnant women on the utilisation of the MWHs near Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in Oshikoto Region.

Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was employed. The accessible population in this study comprised 18 participants who were selected for the study using a purposive sampling technique.

Results: Participants reported numerous barriers to visiting MWHs in Namibia, including an inadequate number of rooms, theft, food scarcity and the effects of poverty on the living conditions of the MWH users. Enablers visiting MWHs included the safe delivery of babies by skilled staff, reduced transport costs, access to timely management of labour complications and affordable accommodation.

Conclusion: The study revealed that a number of barriers must be overcome before the desired number of women take advantage of MWHs. Multiple factors act as constraints to their use, including inadequate number of rooms, theft, food scarcity and the long distance between patients’ homes and MWH services.

Contribution: The study’s findings can be used to develop targeted interventions and strategies that can be used by MWH providers to address the identified barriers.


Keywords

enablers; barriers; maternity waiting home; utilisation; pregnant women; maternal and child health

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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