Journal of Community Health

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 84–93 | Cite as

Use of postpartum health services in rural uganda: knowledge, attitudes and barriers

  • Sarah K. Nabukera
  • Kim Witte
  • Charles Muchunguzi
  • Francis Bajunirwe
  • Vincent K. Batwala
  • Edgar M. Mulogo
  • Celeste Farr
  • Souleymane Barry
  • Hamisu M. Salihu


The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and barriers to use of postpartum care service among rural communities in Uganda. Study was a part of a larger reproductive health evaluation project, and was cross-sectional in nature utilizing qualitative research methods using the narrative inquiry. Two matched rural communities were used in this study; Semuto in Luwero district, and Lwamaggwa in Rakai district. Fifty key informants who were purposefully selected from each study site were interviewed. They included community leaders, political leaders, health care providers, women leaders and community members. One-on-one interviews were conducted with key community informants using an interview guide. The purpose of the interview was explained to each participant, and written informed consent was obtained before the start of the interview. Respondents were allowed to express their views, opinions and observations on several health issues including postpartum health care services. There was a low level of knowledge about postpartum care services among the respondents of the two communities. There was lack of awareness about postpartum care and it’s benefits. The main barriers to use of services were; misconceptions regarding the importance of postpartum care, distance to health facilities, poverty, and health system factors notably; poor facilities, lack of essential drugs, and poor attitudes of health workers. In the effort to improve reproductive health care services, there is an urgent need to improve postpartum services, and make them more accessible and user friendly. The training of providers at all levels is essential, in addition to educating families on the importance of postpartum care services.

Key words

barriers postpartum care rural areas Uganda utilization. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah K. Nabukera
    • 1
  • Kim Witte
    • 2
  • Charles Muchunguzi
    • 3
  • Francis Bajunirwe
    • 3
  • Vincent K. Batwala
    • 3
  • Edgar M. Mulogo
    • 3
  • Celeste Farr
    • 4
  • Souleymane Barry
    • 5
  • Hamisu M. Salihu
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Maternal & Child HealthUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Communication ProgramsJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Mbarara University of Science and TechnologyMbararaUganda
  4. 4.Department of CommunicationsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  5. 5.Party DISH II ProjectKampalaUganda
  6. 6.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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