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MEN IN MATERNAL CARE: EVIDENCE FROM INDIA.
Authors: Chattopadhyay, A.
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 2011 Oct 18:1-25. [Epub ahead of print]
Topic(s): Maternal health
Country: Asia
  India
Published: OCT 2011
Abstract: Abstract Summary Men's supportive stance is an essential component for making women's world better. There are growing debates among policymakers and researchers on the role of males in maternal health programmes, which is a big challenge in India where society is male driven. This study aims to look into the variations and determinants of maternal health care utilization in India and in three demographically and socioeconomically disparate states, namely Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra, by husband's knowledge, attitude, behaviour towards maternal health care and gender violence, using data from the National Family Health Survey III 2005-06 (equivalent to the Demographic and Health Survey in India). Women's antenatal care visits, institutional delivery and freedom in health care decisions are looked into, by applying descriptive statistics and multivariate models. Men's knowledge about pregnancy-related care and a positive gender attitude enhances maternal health care utilization and women's decision-making about their health care, while their presence during antenatal care visits markedly increases the chances of women's delivery in institutions. From a policy perspective, proper dissemination of knowledge about maternal health care among husbands and making the husband's presence obligatory during antenatal care visits will help primary health care units secure better male involvement in maternal health care.