WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-42

Factors associated with delivery at home in Bhutan: findings from the National Health Survey 2012


1 Health Research and Epidemiology Unit, Maternal and Newborn Health Programme, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
2 Health Management Information System, Maternal and Newborn Health Programme, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
3 Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health Programme, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan

Correspondence Address:
Mongal Singh Gurung
Health Research and Epidemiology Unit, Maternal and Newborn Health Programme, Ministry of Health, Thimphu
Bhutan
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.228426

PMID: 29582848

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Background Despite Bhutan's remarkable progress in the area of maternal and child health during the era of the Millennium Development Goals, a large proportion of pregnant women are still delivering at home with no skilled attendant. Limited empirical studies have been carried out to understand the factors associated with delivery at home in Bhutan. Methods This cross-sectional analytical study used secondary data collected in the nationally representative National Health Survey 2012. The survey included a total of 2213 women aged 15–49 years who had a live birth in the 2 years preceding the survey and were selected using multistage stratified cluster sampling. Weighted analysis was done to evaluate determinants for the place of delivery. Unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the possible association of factors with home delivery. Results Out of 2213 women aged 15–49 years who had a live birth in the 2 years preceding the survey, 73.7% had an institutional delivery. Coverage of institutional delivery ranged from 49.4% in Zhemgang district to 96.1% in Paro district. Women in the poorest wealth quintile were 7.35 times more likely to have a birth at home compared to women in the richest quintile (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]: 7.35, 95% CI: 2.59–20.9). The older mothers aged 30–49 years were 0.79 times (aPR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.70–0.88) less likely to have a home delivery than mothers aged 15–19 years. Women who had fewer than four antenatal care visits were 1.50 times (aPR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.35–1.66) more likely to give birth at home compared to those who had four or more visits. The mothers giving birth for a third or more time were 1.88 times (aPR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.60–2.22) more likely to give birth at home compared to those giving birth for the first time. Women living in rural areas were 2.87 times (aPR: 2.87, 95% CI: 1.42–5.77) more likely to deliver at home compared to those living in urban areas and women living in the eastern region of the country were 1.35 times (aPR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.17–1.55) more likely to have a home delivery compared to those living in the western region. Conclusion Lower socioeconomic status, rural location, eastern location, non- first birth, and having fewer than four antenatal visits were significant factors associated with home delivery. These findings should inform further research and policy to build on Bhutan's progress in promoting institutional delivery as the key strategy towards improving maternal and child health and achieving the relevant targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3.


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