Perception of Male Involvement in Antenatal Care Clinics in Urban-West, Zanzibar


End date: 31 July, 2015 Project type: BSU Students' Master Thesis Project code: mhh13-1H1 BSU Countries: Tanzania Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Project coordinator: Shuwena Abdallah Hamad

Project summary

Introduction: One way of achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 is through a full participation of men in the issues pertaining maternal health care. Most of the societies in developing countries, maternal and child health issues are considered to be  “women’s things”, and this resulting in pushing away men from participating in antenatal care (ANC) services even though decisions towards women’s health has been taken by their spouses as they are heads of the household. The aim of this study was to assess factors influencing male involvement in antenatal care in urban-west Zanzibar in specific focus on their own participation in ANC services.
Methods: The study was a qualitative used convenience, purposive and snowball sampling. A total of 33 participants were involved which included 14 pregnant women, 10 married men, 6 ANC nurses, 1 RCH in-charge and 2 religious leaders. Participants’ age were between 22 – 59 years old. In-depth interviews, observations and informal conversations were used to collect information at Mnazi Mmoja referral hospital (MMH) and in the community in urban district in Zanzibar.
Findings: The results had showing that attendance of men to ANC clinics is low due to the job responsibilities, negative perception that clinic is for women only, shyness and embarrassment of mingling with any women at the clinics and bad attitude of health workers towards patients. Also findings showed that participation of men in ANC leads to provide more care and support towards their partners and believed to create a good communication between the health provider and their partners. Education level and middle class status together with the information from media on maternal health found played a chance for men to participate in ANC clinics with their wives.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the study found that gender roles, poverty and knowledge of men about pregnancy influencing attendance of men to ANC clinics. Therefore, more health education needed to sensitize the community on the importance of husbands to attend ANC clinics with their wives.
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