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Maternal health care in five sub-Saharan African countries
Authors: E.O. Tawiah
Source: African Population Studies, 25(1): 1-15; DOI:
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Maternal health
Postnatal care
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: DEC 2011
Abstract: This paper examines inequalities in access to maternal health care services and identifies demographic and socio-economic factors associated with poor maternal health outcomes using data from five Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Ghana (2003), Kenya (2003), Nigeria (2003), Uganda (2000-2001) and Zambia (2001-2002). The six maternal health care indicators show that rural women are more disadvantaged than urban women. Home deliveries comprise more than half of total births. Getting money for treatment stands out as the most important problem women have in accessing health care. In general, Nigerian women experience poorer maternal health outcomes than women in the other four countries. Maternal educational attainment, urban/rural residence and partner’s occupation emerge as the most important predictors of inadequate antenatal care, institutional delivery and current use of any contraceptive method. Female education beyond secondary school level coupled with strenuous efforts to reduce poverty holds the key to keep women off the road to death. Keywords Maternal health care, antenatal/postnatal care, contraceptive use