Factors constraining utilization of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV services in two Teaching Hospitals in Enugu State.
AbstractAbstract: Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV has become a global interventional programme initiated by the United Nations Organization to protect the children of the world from the scourge of HIV virus pandemic. The purpose of the study is to determine the factors constraining the utilization of prevention of mother to child transmission services in two Teaching Hospitals in Enugu State. Specific objectives were set for the study. A cross-sectional descriptive survey was the design used for the study. Researcher constructed questionnaire was used to elicit information from one hundred and twenty-nine respondents (129). The descriptive statistics- frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation were the methods of data analysis used. Items with mean>2.5 were considered as constraining factors. The findings revealed that, socioeconomic factors that constrained the HIV positive pregnant women were the fear that attitude of family members and neighbours towards them would change (discrimination) if they notice that they were attending PMTCT services (3.27±0.86), fear of being labeled as an HIV positive mother (stigmatization) (3.02±1.09), expensive cost of transportation (2.61±1.13) and fear of being tagged immoral because of being HIV positive (2.60±1.00). Limited support from husbands towards PMTCT services (2.53±1.10) was the cultural factor identified from the study while religious factors were not reported as a constraining factor to the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in the two Teaching Hospitals in Enugu State. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen patient support and community advocacy programmes aimed at eradicating stigma and discrimination attached to HIV positive pregnant women; nongovernmental organizations and community-based organizations should come up with programme planning interventions to reduce the influence of barriers hindering HIV positive pregnant women from uptake of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV services.