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Open Access Research article

Determinants of facility delivery after implementation of safer mother programme in Nepal: a prospective cohort study

Rajendra Karkee1*, Colin W Binns2 and Andy H Lee2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal

2 School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:193  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-193

Published: 20 October 2013



There are several barriers for pregnant women to deliver in a health care facility. This prospective cohort study investigated factors affecting facility delivery and reasons for unplanned place of delivery after implementation of the safer mother programme in Nepal.


Baseline interviews using a validated questionnaire were conducted on a sample of 700 pregnant women representative of the Kaski district in central Nepal. Follow-up interviews of the cohort were then conducted within 45 days postpartum. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was performed to determine factors associated with the facility delivery outcome.


Of the 644 pregnant women whose delivery location had been identified, 547 (85%) gave birth in a health care facility. Women were more likely to deliver in a health facility if they were educated especially with higher secondary or above qualification (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 12.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.09 to 30.17), attended 4 or more antenatal care visits (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.25 to 3.69), and lived within 30 minutes to the facility (OR 11.61, 95% CI 5.77 to 24.04). For the 97 women who delivered at home, 72 (74.2%) were unplanned, mainly due to quick precipitation of labour making it impossible to reach a health facility.


It appeared that facility delivery occurs more frequent among educated women and those who live nearby, even though maternity services are now freely available in Nepal. Because of the difficult terrain and transportation problem in rural areas, interventions that make maternity service physically accessible during antenatal period are needed to increase the utilisation of health facility for child birth.

Determinants; Factors; Facility delivery; Childbirth; Maternal health services; Nepal