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Utilization of maternal health care services among married adolescent women: insights from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 2008
Authors: Rai RK, Singh PK, and Singh L
Source: Women's Health Issues, 22(4):e407-14; doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2012.05.001.
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Maternal health
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2012
Abstract: BACKGROUND: An ongoing social catastrophe of very poor performance in maternal health coupled with an unacceptably high number of maternal deaths is evident in Nigeria, especially among adolescent women. This study examines the factors associated with selected maternity services-married adolescent women who have had at least four antenatal care (ANC) visits, those who have undergone safe delivery care, and those who received postnatal care within 42 days of delivery. METHODS: Data from Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 2008, were used. An eligible sample of 2,434 married adolescent (aged 15-19 years) women was included in the analysis. Pearson chi-square test and binary logistic regression were performed to fulfill the study objective. RESULTS: It was found that about 35% of adolescent women had at least four ANC visits, a little over 25% had undergone safe delivery care, and nearly 32% received postnatal care within 42 days of delivery. Women's education, husband's education, wealth quintile, and region of residence were documented as the most important factors associated with maternal healthcare service utilization. The ANC visit was found to be vital in the utilization of safe delivery and postnatal care. CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that programs to improve maternal healthcare have not succeeded in overcoming the socioeconomic obstacles in the way of adolescents' utilizing maternity services. In the long run, the content and service delivery strategy of maternity programs must be designed in keeping with the socioeconomic context with special attention to adolescent women who are uneducated, poor, and residing in rural areas.