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Postnatal care coverage and its determinants in Sri Lanka: analysis of the 2016 demographic and health survey
Authors: Upuli Amaranganie Pushpakumari Perera, Yibeltal Assefa, and Uttara Amilani
Source: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , Volume 21, Article number: 299; DOI:
Topic(s): Inequality
Postnatal care
Rural-urban differentials
Country: Asia
  Sri Lanka
Published: APR 2021
Abstract: Background: Postnatal care (PNC) is important for preventing morbidity and mortality in mothers and newborns. Even though its importance is highlighted, PNC received less attention than antenatal care. This study determines the level of PNC coverage and its determinants in Srilanka. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the 2016 Demographic and Health Survey. Receiving full postnatal care (FPNC) was defined with a set of indicators to detect adequate care for mother and newborn. Demographic and socio-economic associated factors for receiving FPNC were identified using binary and multiple logistic regression. Variables that had marginal relationship with receiving FPNC which p-value less than or equal to 0.2 at binary analysis were selected and included in the multiple logistic regression models. We used manual backward stepwise regression to identify variables which had independent association with receiving FPNC on the basis of adjusted odds ratios (AOR), with 95% confidence interval (CI) and p-value less than 0.05. All analyses were performed in SPSS 25. Results: Of the 8313 women with a live birth in the last 5 years, more than 98% had received postnatal care at facility at least 24 h. More than three-fourth of mothers (n = 5104) received the FPNC according to WHO guideline. Four factors were positively associated with receiving FPNC: mothers received antenatal home visits by Public health midwife (AOR = 1.98, 95% CI 1.65–2.39), mothers who got information about antenatal complications and places to go at antenatal clinics (AOR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.27–1.92), been Sinhala (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI 1.35–2.66) and having own mobile phone (AOR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.02–1.38). Mothers who are residing in rural area (AOR = 0.697 95% CI = 0.52–0.93] compared to those who reside in urban areas and maternal age between 20 and 34 years [AOR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.54–0.97] compared to maternal age less than 20 years were detected as negatively associated. Conclusion: Receiving FPNC in Srilanka is high. However, inequity remains to be a challenge. Socio-demographic factors are associated with FPNC coverage. Strategies that aim to improve postnatal care should target improvement of non-health factors as well.