THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
ISSN: 0331-4111 e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 19, No. 2, November 2021
Male Role in Emergency Obstetric Care in Rural Niger Delta, Nigeria
1 Tarilaifa Akpandara,2 Uche Isiugo-Abanihe and3 Olufunke Fayehun
1,2,3University of Ibadan, Nigeria
After more than two decades of continuous democratic rule and government policies geared towards improved emergency obstetric care (EmOC) access in Nigeria, maternal mortality remains a fundamental public health challenge. Although many studies have emphasized the significance of the male role in female reproductive health-seeking behavior in the country, there is insufficient empirical evidence on the male role in accessing EmOC in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, the bastion of the nation’s petroleum industry. This study explored women’s perspectives, beliefs, and experiences concerning the role of their husbands on reproductive health by collecting quantitative and qualitative data in an economically disadvantaged community of Bayelsa State. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 616 women aged 15-49 years. Focus Group Discussions (16) were conducted among purposively selected male and female participants. Men play positive roles toward accessing EmOC by women in rural Bayelsa. At least eight out of ten women reported that their husbands were present during pregnancy or birth complications; five out of ten claimed they followed them to hospitals or clinics for treatment. Men also provided the finance for the specialized care during emergencies. This study provides empirical evidence of a positive male role in accessing EmOC in the study area. More deliberate promotion of male involvement in the reproductive health of their wives will contribute significantly to the reduction of maternal mortality in a patriarchal society such as Bayelsa.
Keywords: Male role, Emergency Obstetric Care, maternal mortality, Niger Delta, Bayelsa