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Client retention in the continuum of maternal health services in Ethiopia
Authors: Frehiwot Birhanu, Kiddus Yitbarek & Mirkuzie woldie
Source: BMC Health Services Research, 23
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Maternal health
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2023
Abstract: Background: Even though the global maternal mortality has shown an impressive decline over the last three decades, the problem is still pressing in low-income countries. To bring this to an end, women in a continuum of maternity care should be retained. This study aimed to assess the status of Ethiopian women’s retention in the continuum of maternity care with their possible predictors. Methods: We used data from the 2019 Ethiopian Mini-Demographic and Health Survey. The outcome variable in this study was retention in the continuum of maternity care, which consists of at least four ANC contacts, delivery in a health facility, and postnatal check within 48 h of delivery. We analyzed the data using STATA version 14 and a binary logistic regression model was used. In the multiple logistic regression model, variables with a p-value?=?0.05 were considered as significantly associated with the outcome variable. A weighted analysis was also done. Results: Of the 3917 women included in this study, only 20.8% of women completed all of the recommended services. Besides, the use of maternal health services favors women living in the biggest city administrations, followed by women living in agrarian regions; however, those living in the pastoralist area were disadvantaged. Having four or more ANC was explained by the maternal secondary level of education [AOR: 2.54; 95% CI: 1.42, 4.54], wealth status [AOR: 2.59; 95% CI: 1.45, 4.62], early initiation of ANC [AOR: 3.29; 95% CI: 2.55, 4.24], and being in a union [AOR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.16,3.29]. After having four ANC, factor-affecting delivery in a health facility was wealth status [AOR: 8.64; 95% CI: 4.07, 18.36]. The overall completion of care was associated with women’s higher level of education [AOR: 2.12; 95% CI: 1.08, 4.25], richest wealth status [AOR: 5.16; 95% CI: 2.65, 10.07], timeliness of the first ANC visit [AOR: 2.17; 95% CI: 1.66, 2.85], and third birth order [AOR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.97]. Conclusions: Despite the efforts by the Ethiopian government and other stakeholders, the overall completion of care was quite low. There is also a clear inequality because of women's background characteristics and regional variation. Strategies aiming to empower women through improved educational experience and economic standing have to be implemented in collaboration with other relevant sectors.