A cross-sectional study of the role of men and the knowledge of danger signs during pregnancy in southern Mozambique

Authors & affiliation

Anna Galle, Malico De Melo, Sally Griffin, Nafissa Osman, Kristien Roelens, Olivier Degomme


Background: The role of the male partner and wider family in maternal health, especially in case of emergencies, has been receiving increasing attention over the last decade. Qualitative research has highlighted that women depend on others to access high quality maternity care. Currently little is known about these factors in relation to maternal health in Mozambique. Methods: A cross sectional household survey was conducted with men and women in southern Mozambique about decision making, financial support and knowledge of danger signs. A multivariable logistic model was used to identify factors associated with knowledge of danger signs and Cohen’s kappa for agreement among couples. Results: A total of 775 men and women from Marracuene and Manhica districts were interviewed. Maternal health care decisions were frequently made jointly by the couple (32–49%) and financial support was mainly provided by the man (46–80%). Parental and parent-in-law involvement in decision making and financial support was minimal (0–3%). The average number of danger signs respondents knew was 2.05 and no significant difference (p = 0.294) was found between men and women. Communication with the partner was a significant predictor for higher knowledge of danger signs for both men (p = 0.01) and women (p = 0.03). There was very low agreement within couples regarding decision making (p = 0.04), financial support (p = 0.01) and presence at antenatal care consultations (p = 0.001). Results suggest women and men have a high willingness for more male participation in antenatal care, although their understanding of what constitutes this participation is not clear. Conclusion: The study findings highlight the important role men play in decision making and financial support for maternal health care issues. Strengthening male involvement in antenatal care services, by investing in counselling and receiving couples, could help accelerate gains in maternal health in Mozambique. Maternal health care studies should collect more data from men directly as men and women often report different views and behavior regarding maternal health care issues and male involvement.

Publication date:


Staff members:

Anna Galle

Link to publication

Open link


s12884-020-03265-4.pdf (open)

Related publications