SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.31 issue2 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google



On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.31 n.2 Pretoria  2008




Women's experiences of maternal and child health and family planning services in KwaZulu-Natal



S GatsinziI; P MaharajII

IMA. School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban
IIPhD. School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban





The increasing recognition that millions of women and children die every year as a result of the poor health of the mother coupled with inadequate care before, during, and after delivery, has highlighted the importance of seeking women's views of health services in order to contribute to improving their health. The purpose of this paper is to shed more light on women's views of health services by exploring their experiences of maternal and child health and family planning services in Cato Manor in KwaZulu-Natal. The findings suggest that the majority of women were unclear about the purpose of antenatal care. Most women had little or no knowledge about the required number of antenatal care visits. In addition, few women reported that they were offered a comprehensive range of contraceptive services during their visit. In most cases, they were only given information on a limited number of family planning methods. However, the majority of women expressed overall satisfaction with the services. Discontent mainly rose from the long waiting period, duration of the consultation and limited contraceptive counselling. In order to ensure sustainable improvements in women's health increasing involvement of men is also important.

Key words: Maternal and Child Health, Health Services, Women's Experiences



“Full text available only in PDF format”




ABOUD, S; LYAMUYA, EF; KRISTOFFERSEN, EK & MATRE, R 2002: Tetanus Immunity among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. African Journal of Reproductive Health 6(2):87-93.         [ Links ]

ABRAHAMS, N; JEWKES, R & MVO, Z 2001: Health Care-Seeking Practices of Pregnant Women and the Role of the Midwife in Cape Town, South Africa. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 46(4):240-247.         [ Links ]

ASKEW, I,- MENSCH, B & ADEWUYI, A 1994: Indicators for Measuring the Quality of Family Planning Services in Nigeria. Studies in Family Planning 25(5): 268-283.         [ Links ]

BLOOM, S; SHELAH WYPIJ, D & GUPTA, DM 2001: Dimensions of Women's Autonomy and the Influence of Maternal Health Care Utilization in a North Indian City. Demography. 38(1): 67-78.         [ Links ]

BRENNAN, J 1992: Mixing Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Research. England, Avebury.         [ Links ]

CATO MANOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION. 2000: Cato Manor Development Project: Status Report 2000. Durban: CMDA.         [ Links ]

COOPER, D; MORRONI, C; ORNER, P; MOODLEY, J; HARRIES, J; CULLINGWORTH, L & HOFFMAN, M 2004: Ten Years of Democracy in South Africa: Documenting Transformation in Reproductive Health Policy and Status. Reproductive Health Matters 12(24): 70-85.         [ Links ]

CREEL, CL; SASS, VJ; YINGER, VN 2002: Client-Centered Quality: Client's Perspectives and Barriers to Receiving Care. Washington: Population Reference Bureau.         [ Links ]

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. 1995: Maternal Child and Women's Health Draft Policy Document. Pretoria: Department of Health.         [ Links ]

FONN, S; XABA, M; TINT, SK; CONCO, D & VARKEY, S 1998: Reproductive Health Services in South Africa: From Rhetoric to Implementation. Reproductive Health Matters 6(11): 22-32.         [ Links ]

GISSLER, M & HEMMINKI, E 1994: Amount of antenatal care and infant outcome. European Journal of Obstretrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 56(1): 9-14.         [ Links ]

GOLD, RB 1984: Ultrasound Imaging During Pregnancy. Family Planning Perspectives 16 (5): 240-243        [ Links ]

GREADY,M, KLUGMAN,B; XABA, M & BOIKAYO, E 1997: South African Women's Experiences of Contraception and Contraceptive Services. In Beyond acceptability: users' perspectives on contraception edited by Ravindran, T.K.S., Berer, M., Cottingham, J. London: Reproductive Health Matters.         [ Links ]

GROSSMAN-KENDALL, F; FILIPPI, V; KONINCK, DM & KANHONOU, L 2001: Giving Birth in Maternity Hospitals in Benin: Testimonies of Women. Reproductive Health Matters 19(18):90-98.         [ Links ]

HARDON, A 1997: Women's views and experiences of hormonal contraceptives: what we know and what we need to find out. In Beyond acceptability: users' perspectives on contraception edited by Ravindran, T.K.S., Berer, M., Cottingham, J. London: Reproductive Health Matters.         [ Links ]

HAYES, N 2000: Framework for Qualitative Analysis in Doing Psychological Research. Buckingham: Open University Press.         [ Links ]

HUNTINGTON, D & SCHULER, RS 1993: The Simulated Client Method: Evaluating Client-Provider Interactions in Family Planning Clinics. Studies in Family Planning. 24(3): 187-193.         [ Links ]

KAMAL, N. 2000: The influence of husbands on contraceptive use by Bangladesh women. Health Policy and Planning 15(1): 43-51.         [ Links ]

KOENIG, M; HOUSSAIN, M & WHITTAKER, M 1997: The Influence of Quality of Care upon Contraceptive Use in Rural Bangladesh. Studies in Family Planning 28(4): 278-289.         [ Links ]

KREFITNG, L 1991: Rigor in qualitative research. The assessment of trustworthiness. The American Journal of Occupational Nurses. 45(3): 214-219.         [ Links ]

KUNENE, B; BEKSINSKA, M; ZONDI, S; MTHEMBU, N; MULLICK, S; OTTOLENGHLE; KLEINSCHMIDT, L, ADAMCHAK, S; JENOWITZ, B & CUTHBERSON, C 2004: Involving Men in Maternity Care, South Africa. Johannesburg: Reproductive Health Research Unit.         [ Links ]

MAHARAJ, P & CLELAND, J 2005: Integration of sexual and reproductive health services in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Health Policy and Planning 20(5): 310-318.         [ Links ]

MYER, L & HARRISON, A 2003: Why Do Women Seek Antenatal Care Late? Perspectives from Rural South Africa. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 48(4):268-272.         [ Links ]

PATTINSON, RC 2003: Saving Babies 2002: Third Perinatal Care Survey of South Africa. Pretoria: Department of Health.         [ Links ]

SALWAY, S 1994: How Attitudes Toward Family Planning and Discussion Between Wives and Husbands Affect Contraceptive Use in Ghana. International Family Planning Perspectives 20 (2): 44-47.         [ Links ]

SIMMONS, R & ELIAS, C 1994: The Study of Client-Provider Interactions: A Review of Methodological Issues. Studies in Family Planning 25(1): 1-17.         [ Links ]

SOUTH AFRICAN DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEY. (SADHS) 1999: South African Demographic and Health Survey 1998: Full Report. Pretoria and Calverton: South African Medical Research Council and Macro International.         [ Links ]

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA. 2004: Census in Brief: The People of South Africa Population Census 2001. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.         [ Links ]

TSUI, AO; WASSERHEIT, JN & HAAGA, J 1997: Reproductive Health in Developing Countries: Expanding Dimensions, Building Solutions. Panel on Reproductive Health, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.         [ Links ]

ULIN, RP; ROBINSON, TE & MCNEILL, TE 2002: Qualitative Methods: A field Guide for Applied Research in Sexual and Reproductive Health. North Carolina, USA: Family Health International.         [ Links ]

UNFPA. 2004: Adding It Up, The Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care. New York: UNFPA.         [ Links ]

WEGNER, NM; LANDRY, E; WILKINSON, D & TZANIS, J 1998: Men as Partners in Reproductive Health: From Issues to Action. International Family Planning Perspectives 24( 1 ): 38-42.         [ Links ]

WHO. 1998: World Health Day: Safe Motherhood As a Vital Social and Economic Investment. Geneva: WHO.         [ Links ]

WHO. 2003: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice. Geneva: WHO.         [ Links ]

WHO. 2004: Beyond the Numbers: Reviewing maternal deaths and complications to make pregnancy safer. Geneva: WHO.         [ Links ]

WHO. 2005: Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. Geneva: WHO.         [ Links ]

WHO. 2007: WHO Recommended Interventions for Improving Maternal and Newborn Health. Geneva: WHO.         [ Links ]



Dr Pranitha Maharaj
School of Development Studies
University of
South Africa, 4041
Tel: (031)260-2243; Fax: (031)260-2359

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License