While evidence has shown an association between place of childbirth and birth outcomes, still factors contributing to the choice of home childbirth have not been adequately investigated. Childbirth assisted by unskilled birth attendants has been cited as a contributing factor for the high maternal and neonatal mortalities in low resources countries. This study aimed at determining determinants of preference for home childbirth assisted by unskilled attendants in Tanzania
The study used the 2015-16 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey (2015-16 TDHS-MIS) dataset. A total of 2286 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who had childbirth within one year preceding the survey were included in the analysis. Both univariate and multivariable regression analysis was used to determine predictors for home-based childbirth.
A total of 805(35.2%) of women had home childbirth assisted by unskilled providers. After adjusting for confounders, the determinants of preference for home childbirth were the level of education (primary education, AOR=0.666; p=0.001; secondary and higher education, AOR=0.417; p<0.001); not owning mobile phone, AOR= 1.312; p=0.018; parity (parity 2-4, AOR=1.594; p=0.004; Parity 5 and above, AOR=2.158; p<0.001); inadequate antenatal visits, AOR=1.406; p=0.001; wealth index (poorest, AOR=9.395; p<0.001; poorer, AOR=7.701; p<0.001; middle, AOR=5.961; p<0.001; richer, AOR=2.557; p<0.001) and Zones (Southern Highlands, AOR=0.189; p<0.001; Southern, AOR=0.225; p<0.001; Zanzibar, AOR=2.55; p<0.001).
There are large proportions of women who use home childbirth assisted by unskilled birth attendant’s mainly traditional birth attendants (TBA). Predictors for home-based childbirth were being illiterate women, poor access to communication, inadequate antenatal visits, low socio-economic status and those from Zanzibar. Innovative strategies targeting these groups are highly needed to increase the use of health facilities for childbirth and hence reduce maternal and neonatal mortalities in Tanzania.