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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2016

Why mothers still deliver at home: understanding factors associated with home deliveries and cultural practices in rural coastal Kenya, a cross-section study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2016
Rodgers O. Moindi, Moses M. Ngari, Venny C. S. Nyambati, Charles Mbakaya
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contribution

MRO, conceived and designed the study, collected the data and wrote the first draft. MC and NVCS were involved in giving technical guidance in the design of the study and in the revision of the manuscript. MMN did the statistical analysis and was also involved in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Maternal mortality has declined by 43 % globally between 1990 and 2013, a reduction that was insufficient to achieve the 75 % reduction target by millennium development goal (MDG) five. Kenya recorded a decline of 18 % from 490 deaths in 1990 to 400 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013. Delivering at home, is associated with higher risk of maternal deaths, therefore reducing number of home deliveries is important to improve maternal health. In this study, we aimed at establishing the proportion of home deliveries and evaluating factors associated with home deliveries in Kilifi County.


The study was conducted among mothers seeking immunization services in selected health facilities within Kilifi County using Semi-structured questionnaires administered through face to face oral interviews to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Six Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and ten in-depth interviews (IDIs) were used to collect qualitative data. A random sample of 379 mothers was sufficient to answer the study question. Log-binomial regression model was used to identify factors associated with childbirth at home.


A total of 103 (26 %) mothers delivered at home. From the univariate analysis, both mother and the partners old age, being in a polygamy marriage, being a mother of at least two children and staying ≥5 Kms radius from the nearest health facility were associated with higher risk of delivering at home (crude P < 0.05). Both mother and partner’s higher education level were associated with a protective effect on the risk of delivering at home (RR < 1.0 and P < 0.05). In multivariate regression model, only long distance (≥10Kms) from the nearest health facility was associated with higher risk of delivering at home (adjusted RR 3.86, 95 % CI 2.13 to 7.02).


From this population, the major reason why mothers still deliver at home is the long distance from nearest health facility. To reduce maternal mortality, access to health facility by pregnant mothers need to be improved.
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