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Maternal health challenges of pregnant women living on construction sites in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane: A mixed-methods study

Denny John, Richa Saxena, Vijender Kumar.

Abstract
Background: Of the estimated 30 million construction workers in India 51% are women, however, there are no studies on pregnant women living on construction sites in the Indian population.

Objective: The present study was conducted to collect information on health access and challenges of pregnant women living on construction sites in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane.

Material and Methods: Participants were pregnant women living on construction sites, and were recruited from 13 construction sites. A mixed methods study, using both quantitative survey and focus group discussions, was conducted to understand the usage of ANC, delivery, and PNC, and financing aspects to pregnancy-related healthcare utilization among these women.

Results: In the survey, a total of 72 pregnant women were interviewed. The average age of respondents was found to be 22 years (±49SD). A total of 76% of these women had utilized the health facilities for their antenatal checkups (ANC) with majority (65%) utilizing private health facilities. Among women who had a delivery within last 2 years, borrowings from other family members and contractors, and use of current savings, was the most common form of financing of both ANC and delivery expenses. 16 women were found to be working at the time of data collection during their current pregnancy, and during the FGDs, it was mentioned that the women tend to work till seventh month of pregnancy.

Conclusion: These findings underscore the need for considering various contextual factors in ensuring better living and maternal health access services for such women living on construction sites.

Key words: Maternal health, pregnant women, construction sites, mixed methods research


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