Disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth in a low-income country.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the prevalence and pattern of disrespectful and abusive care during facility-based childbirth in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria. METHODS A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study was undertaken at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital between May 1 and August 31, 2012. Women accessing immunization services for their newborns were eligible when they had delivered in the previous 6weeks and had received prenatal care and delivery services at the hospital. The main outcome was the proportion of women who had experienced disrespectful and abusive care during their last childbirth. RESULTS In total, 437 (98.0%) of 446 respondents reported at least one form of disrespectful and abusive care during their last childbirth. Non-consented services and physical abuse were the most common types of disrespectful and abusive care during facility-based childbirth, affecting 243 (54.5%) and 159 (35.7%) respondents, respectively. Non-dignified care was reported by 132 (29.6%) women, abandonment/neglect during childbirth by 130 (29.1%), non-confidential care by 116 (26.0%), detention in the health facility by 98 (22.0%), and discrimination by 89 (20.0%). CONCLUSION Disrespect and abuse during childbirth are highly prevalent in Enugu. The findings indicate the size of the issue of disrespectful and abusive care during childbirth in low-income countries.

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