Choice of Place of Delivery during COVID-19 Pandemic: Observation from a Community-Based Survey in Rural India
Keywords:Child birth, COVID-19, Home delivery, Pregnancy, Rural health
For the past two decades, India has made considerable improvement in health indicators and the country was on the right track toward achieving sustainable development goal-3 by 2030. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the health-care system including the essential health services for mother and child. This study was carried out to understand the barriers for utilization of institutional delivery and its prevalence during the pandemic in rural West Bengal. A total of 318 number of women from 18 sampled villages of Canning II block of South 24 Parganas district were interviewed face to face using a semi-structured interview schedule between October and November 2020. The data were analyzed using Stata and NVivo 12 Pro software. Findings show that more than one-fourth (27.3%) of the deliveries took place at home without any assistance of medical professionals. Fear and anxiety related to COVID-19, uncertain service availability, poor service quality during the pandemic, and lack of supporting hands at households compelled women to choose home delivery instead of institutional delivery. Those delivered at institutions, many of them were released on the day of delivery itself, which resulted poor perinatal care even in the cases of institutional delivery. The findings recommend that in addition to COVID-19 related health services, essential maternal and child health services should be continued with the quality to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Atanu Ghosh, Runa Nath, Nazmul Islam
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