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

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa); Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health


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.

Synopsis: This study shows persisting barriers to health‐facility‐based delivery in Bomachoge‐Borabu and Kaloleni, Kenya. Addressing them requires localized solutions cognizant of local cultures and traditions.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics