A qualitative exploration of barriers to health-facility-based delivery in Bomachoge-Borabu and Kaloleni, Kenya

Violet Naanyu, Terrance J. Wade, Angela Ngetich, Kennedy Mulama, Lucy Nyaga, Rachel Pell, Lindsay Mossman, Jerim Obure, Marleen Temmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore barriers to utilization of health-facility-based delivery in Kenya, use of which is associated with reduced maternal mortality. Methods: In April 2017, a qualitative study utilizing key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) was carried out in Bomachoge-Borabu and Kaloleni, Kenya. Twenty-four KIIs were performed including health service providers, community health workers, religious leaders, local government representatives, Ministry of Health representatives, and representatives of women's organizations. Sixteen FGDs were held separately with adolescent females, adult females, adult males, and Community Health Committee members. Data were transcribed, coded, and categorized thematically to illustrate supply-side and demand-side barriers to use of health-facility-based delivery services. Results: Supply-side barriers included staff shortages, inadequate supplies and space, poor interpersonal relations, few trained staff, long distance to services, poor transport infrastructure, and limited service hours. Demand-side barriers included financial constraints, limited spousal support, observance of birthing traditions, limited knowledge on importance of health-facility-based delivery, and fear of health-facility procedures. Conclusions: Diverse barriers continue to influence use of health-facility-based delivery services in Kenya. Practical, integrated interventions are urgently needed to reduce barriers noted, to further reduce the maternal mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Access to care
  • Barriers to care
  • Childbirth
  • Facility-based delivery
  • Kenya
  • Maternal health


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