Male Involvement in Maternal-And-Child-Health Care: Perceptions of Midwives, Women and Men in PHCs in Aba, Abia State (Published)
Male involvement in MCH care is an effective strategy to combat maternal and child health problems during pregnancy, child-birth and postpartum period. This study explored the perceptions of women, men and nurse-midwives regarding male involvement in MCH care in Aba, Abia State. Three objectives and corresponding research questions were raised for the study. Focus group qualitative research method/design was adopted. Three sample groups comprising of 10 women, 10 men and 10 nurse-midwives participated in the study. Purposive sampling technique was used for sample selection. The primary sampling units were the four selected primary health care centres (PHCs) in Aba. Instruments for data collection were the Focus Group Discussion Guides (FGDG) for women, men and nurse-midwives. The instruments were validated. The two tape recorders used in this study were pretested to ascertain their functionality before the actual focus group discussion sessions commenced. Focus group qualitative data were collected from women, men and nurse-midwives, using the respective FGDG. Audio tape recording of discussions with participants were done. Qualitative data collected from the study were analysed using qualitative data analysis technique. Results revealed the perception of women, men and nurse–midwives in Aba regarding male involvement in MCH care. The women focus group results showed ways of men involvement in MCH Care; women expectations of their partners during pregnancy; and factors affecting women’s perception of male involvement in MCH care. The men focus group results showed men’s opinions regarding their involvement in MCH care; and factors that restrict their involvement in MCH care. The nurse-midwives focus group results showed factors discouraging male involvement in MCH care; men’s responsibilities in MCH care; and benefits of male involvement in MCH care. Recommendation was made to Abia State ministry of health to develop intervention programme to encourage men involvement in MCH care.