An Investigation Into the Rights of Women to Maternal Health a Case Study of Juba County
Author: Koma Henry Okomi
Supervisor: Margaret Angucia
This study was set to investigate the rights of women to maternal health in Juba County, South Sudan. Its objectives were to find out the level of knowledge about maternal health rights, establish the extent to which the pregnant women were accorded maternal health rights by the health workers and ascertain the factors inhibiting compliance with maternal health rights of the pregnant women.
The study utilized a cross-sectional study design that was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The data was collected from 175 pregnant women who were attending ANC and 10 health workers in 10 selected health facilities located in Juba County. The study found that most pregnant women had a high level of knowledge about their right to healthcare before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth (46.9%) but generally had low level of knowledge about maternal health rights (Mean = 2.92, S.D = 1.26). It also found that much as most pregnant women often accessed healthcare whenever they visited the health facilities as a maternal health right (35.3%), there was a low accordance of maternal health rights to them by health workers (Mean = 2.91, S.D = 1.28). The study found a few qualified health staff (4.9%), improper legislation supporting health care services (21.8%) and insecurity (29.7%) as the factors borne of government that inhibited the health staff from according the pregnant women maternal health rights while cultural beliefs (21.2%), long distances (100.0%), lack of transport (57.6%) and restriction by their husbands (51.5%) as the factors borne of pregnant women or their spouses that inhibited pregnant women from receiving maternal health care.
It was concluded amongst others that there is generally less knowledge on part of the mothers in as far as the maternal rights are concerned attributed to less education and low sensitization among the population.
The study recommended among others the need to increase advocacy in as far as maternal health rights were concerned but targeting the women of reproductive age and that maternal health rights should be integrated with the cultural beliefs for coherence with known cultural practices borne of the community to improve maternal health rights accordance.