This study was carried out on cultural beliefs and gender dynamics of PMTCT services among pregnant women. To achieve this, three significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of married men and women in Agbogugu community, Enugu State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 119 respondents while 109 were received and 100 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage. The result of the findings reveals that men always receive negative attitudes from community members when escorting their spouses to the antenatal clinic. The findings also revealed that men who accompany their wives to ANC have been perceived to be weaklings by their peers. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that health personnel should always encourage husbands of women living with HIV to utilize PMTCT services to prevent mother to child transmission of the virus; health personnel should avoid discrimination of women living with HIV and to show them positive attitude to that will encourage them to continue to utilize PMTCT services; The government should provide PMTCT centres in rural areas so as to provide access to PMTCT facilities to all, especially among women resident in rural areas. This will serve as an encouragement to rural pregnant women to utilize the PMTCT services.
1.1 Background Of The Study
In many communities in sub-Saharan Africa, pregnancy is viewed as a ‘woman’s affair’, with a man’s role primarily to provide financial support. Even where men view accompanying their partner to antenatal clinics or PMTCT services as good practice, many still feels their main role is to provide financing for registration and delivery fees (Nkuoh, 2010).
In many settings, traditional gender roles and cultural beliefs mean that men often make decisions determining women’s participation in HIV testing. For example, according to recent Demographic and Health Surveys in Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Cameroon, 80% of married 15-19 year-old women do not have the final say on their own healthcare (Pathfinder International 2013). Men also report negative attitudes from community members when escorting their spouses to antenatal clinics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Because of cultural beliefs, most men do not like to accompany their wives to the antenatal clinics. Men who accompany their wives to ANC are perceived to be weaklings by their peers. For this reason, this pertinent question formed the birth rock of this study: what are the cultural beliefs and gender dynamics of PMTCT services among pregnant women.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The general aim of this study is to examine the cultural beliefs and gender dynamics of PMTCT services among pregnant women. Specifically, the study will
- Determine if men often make decisions determining their wife’s participation in HIV testing
- Determine if men always receive negative attitudes from community members when escorting their spouses to the antenatal clinic
- Determine if men who accompany their wives to ANC are perceived to be weaklings by their peers.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions will guild this study;
- Do men often make decisions determining their wife’s participation in HIV testing?
- Do men always receive negative attitudes from community members when escorting their spouses to the antenatal clinic?
- Do men who accompany their wives to ANC been perceived to be weaklings by their peers?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will educate prospective mother, and pregnant women o the need to attend PMTCT regards their spouse dispositions. On the other hand, this study will enlighten the men on the need to discard the ancient beliefs which are not significant in the contemporary world. Hence encouraging them to always escort their wives to Antenatal services.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study focuses on cultural beliefs and gender dynamics of PMTCT services among pregnant women. Thus, the study will be carried out in Agbogugu community, Enugu State.
1.7. Limitations Of The Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.
In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.
More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Antenatal care (ANC) is one of the core interventions for improving maternal outcomes.
ANC services enable early identification of pregnancy related risks and complications; and ensure access of services including health education, vaccines, diagnostic tests and treatments.
PMTCT: Prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
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