Publisher/Institution: University of Pretoria
Abstract: This thesis investigates the utilisation of maternal health care in Zambia, where despite being a signatory to the Safe Motherhood Initiative and Millennium Development Goals, which are aimed at improving maternal health, indicators of maternal health continue to perform poorly. The need to understand crucial factors in improving maternal health motivated the current research, especially since there is a dearth of literature in this area in Zambia. The thesis focuses on two aspects of maternal health care: antenatal care (ANC) and facility-based deliveries, to answer two broad questions. Firstly, what factors determine the use of ANC in Zambia? Secondly, to what extent has the abolition of user fees affected facility-based deliveries? An assessment of the factors, which explain the utilisation of ANC in Zambia, using three sets of comparable datasets reveals that, while there are differences in the factors explaining the decision to use ANC and the frequency of visits over time, the decision to seek ANC and the frequency of use is low among the poor and less educated, and there are marked regional differences in utilisation.