Introduction Women with disabilities encounter various social, attitudinal and physical barriers to accessing reproductive health (RH) services. Despite the availability of maternal health care, utilization of postpartum services among women living with disabilities aged 15–49 years is still limited. This study therefore assessed the level of and factors associated with utilization of postpartum services among women living with disabilities in Gulu district.
Methods A cross-sectional study employing mixed methods, 293 mothers living with disability on utilization of Postpartum services in Gulu District, Northern Uganda. Five key informant interviews and four in depth interviews were conducted. Quantitative data was analyzed using Stata V.14 and qualitative interviews were analyzed using MAXQDA V18. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with utilization of postpartum care among women living with disabilities.
Results Of the 293 women interviewed, 8.9% reported to have utilized Post-partum services within the first 6 weeks after delivery. Type of residence was a predictor of utilization (p=0.019) and women who received advice on Post-partum care were thrice more likely to utilize services (p=0.087) although this was not statistically significant. In-depth and key informant interviews revealed that health workers’ attitude, lack of knowledge on Postpartum care services, limited finances, lack of family support, lack of special care services to women living with disability, poor communication and stigmatization by the community were barriers to utilization. Facilitators included, special care services, advice from medical personnel to seek Post-partum services, access to free medical services and decision to seek Post-partum care by the mother.
Conclusion Utilization of Postpartum among women living with disability is low.
Policy implication: There is need to extend postpartum care services to rural areas and train health workers to provide more effective communication for mothers with disabilities.
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