Utilisation of Maternal Health Services and its Predictors in Slum Population
Introduction: The particularly sorry plight of disadvantaged slum population with ample scope of further research into such areas as vulnerability to health risk and access to treatment, reduced economical choice and social support besides natural disasters and emotional stress of displacement. Material & Methods: An observational (cross-sectional) study was designed on a pre designed and pre tested questionnaire to understand women’s fertility and contraceptive behavior and to study Socio behavioral Determinants of Utilization of MCH services. Results: The prevalence of <18 marriage was 78.03%.The teenage pregnancy was as high as 46.36% with 47.90% having parity of 4 or more.And of those not seeking ANC 53.42% did not feel the need for care during pregnancy. A very important finding was that 64.23% had home delivery and of these, 74% did not have any trained birth attendant. Conclusion: Levels of education in the family, caste, affordability (asset-holding) and accessibility were the factors which determined the utilization pattern. In general, those with better levels of education and those with better affordability preferred private practitioners and were willing to travel longer distances to avail health services as there was more awareness, motivation and felt need.