Maternal health expenditures and health seeking behavior among lowest wealth quintile of the rural population in an under developed district of the Punjab, Pakistan

Mariam Sughra, Farwa Fatima, Mouzma Marrium, Khizer Abbas


Background: Expenditures on maternal health is important factor to determine the health seeking behavior in pregnant women among the lowest economical section of Pakistan. This study was carried out determine the maternal health expenditures and health seeking behavior among lowest wealth quintile of rural Rahim Yar Khan.

Methods: Sample Size: For this cross- sectional study, a total of 230 subjects were involved in the study from rural areas of Rahim Yar Khan including Basti Bahishti, Bah-o-Bahar and Chak 83/P. This study was comprised of duration of 06 months from 02/03/2016 to 04/09/2016. The head of Family (Husband) with monthly income less than 15000 Pakistani rupees (PKR) were included and marriage with in last 5 years with at alive delivery. While subjects having income more than 15000 PKR and not willing to participate in study were excluded from the study.

Results: People with mean monthly income of PKR. 1176±4109 spent mean amount of PKR. 146442 ± 7747 on their marriages. While the mean expenses on treatment of complication in the last pregnancy were PKR. 35808±6771 and the amount saved for the treatment of complication was PKR. 2750±1157 only. Mean antenatal expenses were PKR. 1807±3335, Mean expenses on delivery were PKR. 7351±855 as compared to the money saved for delivery was PKR. 6115±1460. Mean expenses on complications during delivery were PKR. 1692±523. Mean expenses on postnatal care were PKR.8596±3597 while the mean amount used for treatment of postnatal complications were of PKR. 2451±560. Mean expenses on birth celebrations were of PKR. 7697±832.

Conclusions: Present study reveals that there is a high financial cost of maternal health expenditures paid by the lowest wealth quintile in rural areas of Rahim Yar Khan when compared with the income of this quintile. Access of the people to the health sector is still limited due to low income of people, low health education and unavailability of health services in rural areas and even in 2017.


Expenditures, Lowest wealth quintile, Maternal health, Rural population

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