Women's experiences of maternal and child health (MCH) and family planning (FP) services : a case study of Cato Manor in KwaZulu-Natal.
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The increasing recognition that millions of women and children die every year as a consequence of the poor health of the mother coupled with inadequate care before, during, and after delivery, has highlighted the importance of seeking women's views of health services in order to contribute to improving women's health. In order to shed more light on women's views of health services, this study explores women's experiences of MCH and FP services in Cato Manor in KwaZulu-Natal. The study looked at a number of factors including knowledge of reproductive health services and interpersonal relations between women and health providers. In-depth interviews with service users and CBHWs as key informants were used to obtain information for the study. The results suggest that the majority of the MCH service users expressed overall satisfaction with the services. Discontent mainly rose from lack of contraceptive counseling and the long waiting times at the clinic. Thus, suggestions to improve service delivery included increasing contraceptive counseling especially with regard to the range of methods and their side effects. The study also argued for sustainable improvements in women's health and increasing involvement of men in ensuring positive reproductive health outcomes for women.