Reduction in access to maternal health care services is continuously becoming real for the majority of pregnant women residing in rural areas especially when the distance is great between the rural and urban areas. Additionally, lack of resources and safety of the healthcare facilities in the rural areas has made it difficult for pregnant women to have better maternal services during pregnancy (Choudhury, 2011). Therefore, this has resulted in increased cases of deaths during childbirth. Moreover, there has been an increase in cases of infants being infected with diseases like STIs and HIV in case the mother is infected (Watson-Jones et al., 2012). Lack of healthcare access among pregnant women in rural areas should be viewed in the context of a psychological problem; financial constraints and death that it causes too many families and homestead. People especially pregnant women often struggle so much so that they can get access to better healthcare services. Therefore, to avoid losing more lives due to lack of easy access to health services during pregnancy, there is an agent need to increases resources with the rural areas to help construct more of the care facilities.
According to the recent research by Health People 2020, pregnant women should have frequent visits to the clinic since it is essential for overall social, physical as well as the status of mental health. Additionally, it prevents them from diseases, thereby enhancing their life expectancy. The research also reveals some of the barriers to healthcare access experienced by the expectancy mothers. The barriers hinder women residing in the rural areas from having sufficient health care that is necessary and appropriate promptly (Essendi, 2011). Geographical distance services remain critical barriers to health care access. Longer travelling times faced by rural women increases the cost of childbearing and healthcare services. Financial barrier also makes access to healthcare difficult. In rural areas, many people are poor, therefore, if the care facilities are far from their area of residence, then accessing the services become a challenge to the problem due to an increase of transportation (Dhakal, et a., 2011). Finally, illiteracy can also lead to failure by pregnant women to access the maternal services. Pregnant women with low education level do not see the importance of obtaining health care services thereby putting their lives and the life of the children at risk (Tran et al., 2011). Additionally, such women also they do not know the appropriate time for the services.
Poor healthcare services in rural areas have negative impacts on families, women, and children in general. Cases of miscarriage and pregnancy termination are high in the rural areas compared to urban areas where there are many healthcare facilities (Sosa-Rubi, at al., 2011). Additionally, cases of women dying in the rural areas during birth are also high due to losing blood and pain. Children born with the help of the midwives tend to have health complication in the later stages of the life thereby hindering their educations and social life (Montagu et al., 2011). Lack of resources with the hospital in the rural areas also hinders the services offered by the healthcare workers thereby putting the health of the pregnant women and the unborn child into significant risk. Inadequate access to health care services and lack of resources in the health centres has got negative implication to nursing since it makes it difficult for them to undertake their duties.
Mobilizing resources to build more hospital in the rural areas is one of the primary solutions to the problem of poor health care services. Additionally, undertaking awareness campaign to educate women in the rural areas on the importance of the giving birth in the hospital can also help to reduce the number of death that occurs to the mothers and the unborn children (Bhutta et al., 2011). Finally, empowering the women in rural areas both financially and educationally can also help to solve the challenges that pregnant women face in rural areas.
Bhutta, Z. A., Soofi, S., Cousens, S., Mohammad, S., Memon, Z. A., Ali, I., ... & Martines, J. (2011). Improvement of perinatal and newborn care in rural Pakistan through community-based strategies: a cluster-randomised effectiveness trial. The Lancet, 377(9763), 403-412.
Choudhury, N., & Ahmed, S. M. (2011). Maternal care practices among the ultra-poor households in rural Bangladesh: a qualitative exploratory study. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 11(1), 15.
Dhakal, S., Van Teijlingen, E., Raja, E. A., & Dhakal, K. B. (2011). Skilled care at birth among rural women in Nepal: practice and challenges. Journal of health, population, and nutrition, 29(4), 371.
Essendi, H., Mills, S., & Fotso, J. C. (2011). Barriers to formal emergency obstetric care services utilization. Journal of Urban Health, 88(2), 356-369.
Montagu, D., Yamey, G., Visconti, A., Harding, A., & Yoong, J. (2011). Where do poor women in developing countries give birth? Multi-Country analysis of demographic and health survey data. PloS one, 6(2), e17155.
Sosa-Rubi, S. G., Walker, D., Servan, E., & Bautista-Arredondo, S. (2011). Learning effect of a conditional cash transfer programme on poor rural womens selection of delivery care in Mexico. Health policy and planning, 26(6), 496-507.
Tran, T. K., Nguyen, C. T., Nguyen, H. D., Eriksson, B., Bondjers, G., Gottvall, K., ... & Petzold, M. (2011). Urban-rural disparities in antenatal care utilization: a study of two cohorts of pregnant women in Vietnam. BMC health services research, 11(1), 120.
Watson-Jones, D., Balira, R., Ross, D. A., Weiss, H. A., & Mabey, D. (2012). Missed opportunities: poor linkage into ongoing care for HIV-positive pregnant women in Mwanza, Tanzania. PLoS One, 7(7), e40091.
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