The Reproductive Health Research Unit University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in partnership with the FRONTIERS Program of the Population Council, and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health conducted a three-year operations research study titled “Men in Maternity” in the Ethekwini district. The intervention was clinic-based and included two broad strategies: improving antenatal care services by strengthening the existing antenatal package and service monitoring and supervision; and introducing couple counseling by providing training to health providers, inviting partners of antenatal women to attend counseling twice during pregnancy and once post delivery, and providing information to couples with a new antenatal booklet. The intervention may be considered successful in demonstrating that male participation in this context was feasible, relevant, and effective in significantly changing communication, partner assistance during emergency, condoms as a dual protection method, condom use, and condom use in last sexual encounter. Had the intervention been in place for a longer period or supported by mass communication efforts to encourage men to come to the clinic, there may have been a much greater impact.
Kunene, Busi, Mags Beksinska, Simphiwe Zondi, Nobuhle Mthembu, Saiqa Mullick, Emma Ottolenghi, Immo Kleinschmidt, Susan E. Adamchak, Barbara Janowitz, and Carmen Cuthbertson. 2004. "Involving men in maternity care: South Africa," FRONTIERS Final Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health