Accessibility and utilization of maternal health care in urban India. A demand side perspective.
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Maternal health can be defined as the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Of all the maternal deaths in the world, 99% occurs in developing countries. The highest maternal mortality ratios can be witnessed in India where approximately 20% of all maternal deaths take place. The majority of these deaths occur due to preventable causes. Unfortunately, many women are excluded from the health care system that is present in their country. This problem is strongly prevalent amongst Indian women from low socioeconomic groups, resulting in low or incomplete uptake of maternal health care. The barriers that woman come across when wanting to access and utilize health care can be categorized under five dimensions namely, Availability, Accessibility, Affordability, Adequacy and Acceptability. These dimensions consist out of barriers that can be described as supply side barriers and demand side barriers. This baseline study aims to provide an insight to the accessibility and utilization of maternal health care in a North-Indian city. The main goal of this thesis is the present and discuss the degree in which maternal health care is utilized in medical facilities, the barriers that women come across when accessing this type of care and how women’s experiences with accessing and utilizing maternal health care can influence their expected future behavior. In order to get a better understanding of these topics, research has been conducted in Lucknow, the capital city of the Northern Indian state Uttar Pradesh. Fifty women from the urban slum Kashyap Nagar have participated in this study by sharing their experiences on accessing and utilizing maternal health care during their last pregnancy. The data collection focused on the demand side perspective e.g. that of the women from Kashyap Nagar.