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Improvements in the Status of Women and Increased Use of Maternal Health Services in Rural Egypt

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Author(s): CHIFA CHIANG | INASS HELMY HASSAN ELSHAIR | LEO KAWAGUCHI | NAWAL ABDEL MONEIM FOUAD | NAGAH MAHMOUD ABDOU | MICHIYO HIGUCHI | SANEYA RIZK EL BANNA | ATSUKO AOYAMA

Journal: Nagoya Journal of Medical Science
ISSN 0027-7622

Volume: 74;
Issue: 3,4;
Start page: 233;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Maternal health services | Women’s status | Family support | Egypt

ABSTRACT
This research investigated the association between the household status of women and their use of maternal health services in rural Egypt. Face-to-face interviews with a structured questionnaire to 201 married women were carried out in a village, posing questions about their health service utilization and their household socio-economic status. The association between service utilization and other variables was statistically analysed. Older ages at first marriage and higher education levels showed significant positive associations with the three outcome variables—regular antenatal care (ANC), deliveries attended by skilled health professionals, and deliveries at heath facilities—of the use of maternal health services. Women who had not experienced physical assaults by husbands and had knowledge of community activities were more likely to receive ANC regularly; however, there were no significant association with the other two outcome variables. Participation in household decision-making and availability of assistance with household chores had no significant linkage to the use of maternal health services. Marriages to husbands with secondary or higher levels of education and residence in extended families were significantly associated with greater maternal health service usage. Our results suggest that the improved status of women in the household and moral support from family members contributes to an increase in the use of maternal health services.

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