Male Partner Involvement in Promoting Antenatal Care and Skilled Delivery Attendance in Bumula Sub-County, Kenya


  •   Rose A. M. Nyang’au

  •   Maximilla Wanzala

  •   Tom Were


Globally, male partner involvement in antenatal care and skilled delivery services remains a challenge to effective management of maternal health. Maternal morbidities and mortalities have been increasing due to the underutilization of antenatal care and skilled delivery attendance at a global level. However, developed countries have had a different story on male partner involvement in antenatal care and skilled delivery attendance – most male partners are involved in the process. But sub-Saharan Africa in the global south records the highest percentage of male partners who are never active in accompanying their female counterparts to visit antenatal care and skilled delivery. In Kenya male involvement in maternal services remains low despite it being recognized as one of the pillars of safe motherhood. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate male partner involvement in promoting antenatal care and skilled delivery attendance in Bumula Sub-County of Bungoma County in Kenya. It focused on the level of male partners involvement in maternal health. The study adopted a cross-sectional design. The target populations were married men and community health volunteers. The study had a sample size of 427 persons. Data was collected using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire, key in-depth interview guides, focused group discussion guides and observation checklist. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Scientist version 25. Data were presented using tables, figures, narratives and direct quotes. The study found a low level of male involvement (18%) in promoting antenatal care and skilled delivery attendance. Most of the male partners (83.1%) did not plan with their partners for ANC and skilled delivery services, however, (54.1%) accompanied their partners to the clinics. The study concluded There was a low level of male partner involvement in ANC and skilled delivery attendance. About 18% of male partners were involvement in ANC and skilled delivery attendance. There was an improvement of male partner involvement in accompaniment and provision of support. The study recommended that the two levels of government through the Ministry of Health should create awareness campaigns and public education with a targeted massage on negative cultural practices/mindset that hinder male partner involvement in maternal health services in the Bumula sub-county.

Keywords: Antenatal care, maternal health, male partner involvement, safe motherhood, skilled delivery


E. Andersson, A. Norman, C. Kanlinder and L. Plantin, “What do expectant fathers expect of antenatal care in Sweden? A cross-sectional study,” Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare 1;9:27-34, 2016.

M. Mackert, M. Guadagno, A. Lazard, E. Donovan, A. Rochlen, A. Garcia, M. J. Damásio and B. Crook, “Engaging men in prenatal health via eHealth: findings from a national survey,” JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting 1(2):e7, 2018.

G. Bishwajit, S. Tang, S. Yaya, S. Ide, H. Fu, M. Wang, Z. He, F. Da and Z. Feng, “Factors associated with male involvement in reproductive care in Bangladesh,” BMC Public Health 17(1):1-8, 2017.

C. K. Bhusal and S. Bhattarai, “Social Factors Associated with Involvement of Husband in Birth Preparedness Plan and Complication Readiness in Dang District, Nepal,” Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education 8(06), 2018.

S. Lewis, A. Lee and P. Simkhada, “The role of husbands in maternal health and safe childbirth in rural Nepal: a qualitative study,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 15(1):1-0, 2015.

A. Ghimire and K. Pun, “Male Involvement in Maternal and Infant Health Care, Banke, Nepal,” International Journal of Nursing Research and Practice 4, 2017.

A. E. Rahman, J. Perkins, S. Islam, A. B. Siddique, M. Moinuddin, M. R. Anwar, T. Mazumder, A. Ansar, M. M. Rahman, S. Raihana and C. Capello, “Knowledge and involvement of husbands in maternal and newborn health in rural Bangladesh,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 18(1):1-2, 2018.

R. R. Marzo, A. Ahmad, G. V. Xit, N. C. Ming, M. T. Win, T. Talukder and J. R. Naidu, “A study of involvement in maternal health by male counter-part in the family in Muar district,” 2018.

S. Sharma, K. C. Bhuvan and A. Khatri, “Factors influencing male participation in reproductive health: a qualitative study,” Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 11:601, 2018.

M. Younas, Y. Parpio, T. Saeed Ali and S. Awan, “Male partners' knowledge and practices of antenatal care in district Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study,” Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health 1;8(1):2005-15, 2020.

M. Zakaria, A. K. Khan, M. Ahmad, F. Cheng and Xu J. “Women’s Perception of Male Involvement in Antenatal, Childbirth and Postnatal Care in Urban Slum Areas in Bangladesh: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study,” Healthcare 9(4):473,2021.

K. Nesane, S. M. Maputle and H.Shilubane, “Male partners' views of involvement in maternal healthcare services at Makhado Municipality clinics, Limpopo Province, South Africa,” African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine. 1;8(2):1-5, 2016.

J. A. Greenspan, J. J. Chebet, R. Mpembeni, I. Mosha, M. Mpunga, P. J. Winch, J. Killewo, A. H. Baqui and S. A. McMahon, “Men’s roles in care seeking for maternal and newborn health: a qualitative study applying the three delays model to male involvement in Morogoro Region, Tanzania,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 19(1):1-2, 2019.

M. G. Matseke, R. A. Ruiter, V. J. Rodriguez, K. Peltzer, G. Setswe, S. Sifunda, “Factors associated with male partner involvement in programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in rural South Africa,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(11):1333, 2017.

J. P. Craymah, R. K. Oppong and D. A. Tuoyire, “Male involvement in maternal health care at Anomabo, central region, Ghana,” International Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2017.

R. A. Aborigo, D. D. Reidpath, A. R. Oduro and P. Allotey, “Male involvement in maternal health: perspectives of opinion leaders,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 18(1):1-0, 2018.

F. Kassahun, C. Worku, A. Nigussie and G. Ganfurie, “Prevalence of male attendance and associated factors at their partners antenatal visits among antenatal care attendees in Bale Zone, South East Ethiopia,” International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery 10(9):109-20, 2018.

M. T. Kumbeni, F. A. Ziba, J. N. Alem and S. A. Nborah, “Factors Influencing Male Involvement in Antenatal Care in the Kassena Nankana Municipal in the Upper East Region, Ghana,” European Scientific Journal 15:21, 2019.

C. J. Mbadugha, C. J. Anetekhai, A. L. Obiekwu, I. Okonkwo, J. A. Ingwu, “Adult male involvement in maternity care in Enugu State, Nigeria: A cross-sectional study,” European Journal of Midwifery 3, 2019.

N. S. Gibore, M. J. Ezekiel, A. Meremo, M. J. Munyogwa and S. M. Kibusi, “Determinants of men’s involvement in maternity care in Dodoma Region, Central Tanzania,” Journal of Pregnancy. 2;2019.

N. Shiyagaya Karolina, S. K. Kuna and A. H. Justus, “Level of male involvement and factors influencing involvement in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the Oshakati, Oshana Region (Doctoral dissertation, University of Namibia)” 2016.

B. H. Mohammed, J. M. Johnston, D. Vackova, S. M. Hassen and H. Yi, “The role of the male partner in the utilization of maternal health care services in Ethiopia: a community-based couple study,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 19(1):1-9, 2019.

O. Falade-Fatila and A. M. Adebayo, “Male partners’ involvement in pregnancy-related care among married men in Ibadan, Nigeria,” Reproductive Health 17(1):1-2, 2020.

A. Nigusie, T. Azale and M. Yitayal, “Institutional delivery service utilization and associated factors in Ethiopia: a systematic review and META-analysis,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 20(1):1-25, 2020.

P. Alupo, E. R. Atim, H. Kaggwa, C. Mudondo, C. Ogallo, J. Ogwang, B. Wanume, R. Nekaka and J. Nteziyaremye, “Male Partner Involvement in The Utilization of Antenatal Care Services in Kidera, Buyende District, Uganda: Cross-Sectional Mixed Methods Study,” 2020.

J. M. Onchong’a, T. Were and J. O. Osero, “Knowledge, perception and level of male partner involvement in the choice of the delivery site among couples at coast level five hospital, Mombasa County, Kenya,” African Journal of Reproductive Health 20(1):71-9, 2016.

L. N. Nyandieka, M. K. Njeru, Z. Ng’ang’a, E. Echoka and Y. Kombe, “Male involvement in maternal health planning key to utilization of skilled birth services in Malindi Subcounty, Kenya,” Advances in Public Health, 2016.

S. Kiptoo, C. Mutai and M. Kipmerewo, “Male partner involvement on maternal care services during the perinatal period in Mumias east and west sub-counties, Kakamega County, Kenya,” International Journal of Advanced Research 4(11):1219-32, 2016.

B. F. Rotich, R. A. Aura-Odhiambo and S. Muthoka, “The Influence of Male Spouse Participation in Maternal Utilisation of Antenatal Care in Njoro Town, Nakuru County, Kenya,” 2019.

F. K. Ongolly and S. A. Bukachi, “Barriers to men's involvement in antenatal and postnatal care in Butula, western Kenya,” African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine 11(1):1-7, 2019.

B. Odeny, C. J. McGrath, A. Langat, J. Pintye, B. Singa, J. Kinuthia, A. Katana and G. John-Stewart, “Male partner antenatal clinic attendance is associated with increased uptake of maternal health services and infant BCG immunization: a national survey in Kenya,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 19(1):1-9, 2019.

Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS), Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and ICF Macro, Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, 2014.

The Republic of Kenya, National Survey on male involvement in family planning and reproductive health in Kenya, National Council of Population and Development 2014, Government Printers 2014.

Ministry of Health of Bungoma County, County Health Records and Information Office, 2016.

World Health Organization, A practical guide to implementing safe motherhood in countries. WHO/FHE/MSM/2012.11. Safe motherhood programme. Geneva. UNICEF. Maternal mortality in 2013: Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank. Geneva.

L. Jennings, M. Na, M. Cherewick, M. Hindin, B. Mullany, S. Ahmed, “Women’s empowerment and male involvement in antenatal care: analyses of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in selected African countries,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 14(1):1-1, 2014.

D. M. Nyangena, “Infleunce of provision of free maternal health care program on maternal mortality rates in Kisii County, Kenya,” International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume IV,2020.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Nyang’au, R. A. M., Wanzala, M., & Were, T. (2021). Male Partner Involvement in Promoting Antenatal Care and Skilled Delivery Attendance in Bumula Sub-County, Kenya. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 3(5), 43–51.