Socio-demographic and economic factors influencing male involvement during pregnancy of their spouses in Zambia: evidence from the ZDHS 2007-2013/14
Chima, Suzika Susan
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Men’s presence at antenatal care meetings has positive effect on the health of women during pregnancy and delivery (Iluyasu et al., 2010) which in turn will help to further reduce maternal and neonatal deaths. To this effect the Ministry of Health in Zambia has since embarked on a massive sensitization of male involvement In spite of these incentives, the level of male involvement and its influencing factors is unclear, it is for this reason that this thesis attempted to examine the socio-demographic and economic factors influencing male involvement during pregnancy in Zambia. The study also determined the level of male involvement in Zambia. The findings of the study will help to come up with appropriate programmes or build on existing programmes that encourage male involvement during pregnancy to enable yield benefits such as reduced delay in seeking health services. The study will also provide a basis for further research of the problem. The Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) datasets of 2007 and 2013-14 and Stata Version 11.0 were used for the analysis which included; descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analysis using the Binary Logistic regression to produce odds ratios of involvement. The sample included all men who reported that during their partner/wife’s last pregnancy she had an antenatal visit. The findings of this study show that; men who are in the age group 25-34, are from rural areas and Eastern province were significantly more involved, also men who are married, protestant and had one partner were significantly more involved during pregnancy. Also the majority of the men who were involved were from the Bemba ethnic group. Furthermore men who work in the agricultural sector, are poor and have primary education were significantly more involved during pregnancy. The study revealed that there was an increase in male involvement in 2013/2014 (70.7 per cent) from 17.5 per cent from 2007. The findings from the final model have also shown that men from all other provinces are more involved during pregnancy compared to men from Lusaka. Also men from all other ethnic groups are more involved compared to men from the Bemba ethnic group. Men in the middle wealth quintile and those who are rich are also more involved compared to the poor. Furthermore, married men and those formally married are more involved during pregnancy compared to the never married. Region, ethnicity, wealth and marital status had the highest variations in explaining male involvement. It can be concluded that socio-demographic and economic variables namely; age, residence, marital status, region, religion, number of partners, ethnicity, education, employment and wealth are the factors influencing male involvement during pregnancy in Zambia. Limitations of the study were that since the study used already collected data, some variables of interest such as intentionality of pregnancy, if helped partner with house chores etc. where missing as the intended purpose for which they were collected was not in line with that of the researcher. From the findings of this study, it is recommended that, providing an enabling environment for the attainment of at least primary education by men is vital if high levels of male involvement are to be achieved. In addition, there is need for continued promotion of male involvement in both the public and private health facilities and also encourage child birth within marriage unions and harness resources for the couples.