Men's Involvement in Antenatal Care Services (ANC):
Background: Worldwide, male attendance of skilled ANC and delivery care remains a challenge to safe motherhood. About 210 million women become pregnant each year with 30 million (15%) developing complications, resulting into over half a million maternal deaths (De Bernis L, et al., 2003). Developing countries account for more than 99% of all maternal deaths; with about a half occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, and a third in South Asia (WHO,2007; UNICEF, 2008). There is also slow progress towards achieving the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in developing countries (AbouZahr C, 2003). Male involvement in reproductive health has recently been promoted as a promising new strategy for improving maternal and child health (UNFPA, 2000). Main objective: To assess the factors influencing men’s involvement in antenatal care services (ANC) in Kibuli, Makindye Division, Kampala District. Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires. The study was conducted among 240 adult men, in a sexual relationship, with at least one child that were residing or working in Kibuli’s informal sector. They were chosen using stratified sampling and simple random sampling and consented to participate in the study. Data was collected at a specific point in time without follow up and then analyzed to facilitate in the description of men’s involvement in antenatal care services in Kibuli. Results: The proportion of men that were involved in ANC in Kibuli, Makindye Division was 147/240 (61.25%). Level of education (P=0.007), Tribe (P=0.015), and Occupation (P=0.0018), were found to be associated with male involvement in ANC. Men that reported knowing the importance of male involvement in their partner’s health (P= 0.000), knowledge on the definition of ANC (P= 0.000) and knowledge on the recommended number of ANC visits (P=0.000) were more likely to be involved in ANC xiii Conclusion: In this study the level of male involvement in Kibuli, Makindye Division, Kampala District is low (61.25%) but still higher than what is reported from other studies from East Africa. Male involvement in ANC was associated with a higher education level, one’s tribe, occupation status, knowledge of importance of male involvement in the partner’s health, the definition of ANC and knowledge on the recommended number of ANC visits. Among the health care system factors that were included in the study, none of the factors were found to be significantly associated with male involvement in ANC. Recommendations: The study recommends that increase awareness of the importance of male involvement in ANC/PMTCT services. It is important that more information is provided to the public on how, why, when and where men can be involved when it comes to not only ANC but to their partner’s health in general. Through aggressive advertizing and sensitizing of the population using mediums suitable for both the literate and illiterate people like radio talks, television shows, mobile entertainment and educative shows together with other forms of media; people’s knowledge on male involvement in ANC should be able to increase.