Prevalence and correlates of home delivery amongst HIV-infected women attending care at a rural public health facility in Coastal Kenya

Document Type



Institute for Human Development


Abstract: Background Home delivery, referring to pregnant women giving birth in the absence of a skilled birth attendant, is a significant contributor to maternal mortality, and is encouragingly reported to be on a decline in the general population in resource limited settings. However, much less is known about home delivery amongst HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA). We described the prevalence and correlates of home delivery among HIV-infected women attending care at a rural public health facility in Kilifi, Coastal Kenya.

Methods A cross-sectional design using mixed methods was used. Quantitative data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires from HIV-infected women with a recent pregnancy (within 5 years, n = 425), whilst qualitative data were collected using focused group discussions (FGD, n = 5). Data were analysed using logistic regression and a thematic framework approach respectively.

Results Overall, 108 (25.4%, [95% CI: 21.3–29.8]) participants delivered at home. Correlates of home delivery included lack of formal education (aOR 12.4 [95% CI: 3.4–46.0], p<0.001), history of a previous home delivery (2.7 [95% CI:1.2–6.0], p = 0.019) and being on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART, 0.4 [95% CI:0.2–0.8], p = 0.006).Despite a strong endorsement against home delivery, major thematic challenges included consumer-associated barriers, health care provider associated barriers and structural barriers.

Conclusion A quarter of HIV-infected women delivered at home, which is comparable to estimates reported from the general population in this rural setting, and much lower than estimates from other sSA settings. A tailored package of care targeting women with no formal education and with a history of a previous home delivery, coupled with interventions towards scaling up HAART and improving the quality of maternal care in HIV-infected women may positively contribute to a decline in home delivery and subsequent maternal mortality in this setting.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


PLoS One