On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577
The purpose of the study was to identify factors contributing to low institutional deliveries in the Marondera District, Zimbabwe, among women who attended antenatal clinics, in order to enhance the number of institutional deliveries. A quantitative descriptive survey, gathering data by conducting structured interviews with 80 women, was used in this study. All 80 women attended ante-natal clinics but 40 delivered at home and 40 delivered at an institution. The Health Belief Model (HBM) was used to contextualise the data. The research results indicated that factors that contributed to the low number of institutional deliveries included that women's minimal expectations of cleanliness and noninterference during labour and delivery could be met during home deliveries; institutional deliveries' costs included traveling expenses, losing family support and the inability to meet cultural expectations; women's lack of knowledge about danger signs of pregnancy; and women's negative perceptions of nurses working at the institution(s). The recommendations include reduced costs of institutional deliveries; allowing family members (especially the mother-in-law) to be present during institutional deliveries and to perform cultural rituals whenever possible. The nurses' attitudes and competence levels should be addressed through in-service education sessions and sustained follow-up evaluations, including evaluations by pregnant women.
Keywords : Ante-natal care; home delivery; institutional delivery; midwifery in Zimbabwe; women's health in Zimbabwe.