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Skilled birth attendant utilization trends, determinant and inequality gaps in Ethiopia
Authors: Workagegnhu Tarekegn, Sitota Tsegaye, and Yemane Berhane
Source: BMC Women's Health, Volume 22, Article 466; DOI:
Topic(s): Education
Maternal mortality
Pregnancy outcomes
Wealth Index
Country: Africa
Published: NOV 2022
Abstract: Background Globally over half a million women die every year from potentially preventable and treatable pregnancy and childbirth complications; of which 99% occur in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The utilization of skilled birth attendants can timely identify treatable birth complications and save lives. However, utilization of services remained low in LMICs. This study aimed to examine the trends in the utilization of skilled birth attendants and the inequality gaps in Ethiopia using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys. Methods We used data from five rounds of Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in the period 2000–2019. Respondents were women in the reproductive age group who had a live birth within five years preceding the surveys. We used the concentration curve and concentration index to identify the inequalities using the World Health Organization recommended Health Equity Analysis Toolkit software. We did a logistic regression analysis to examine factors associated with skilled birth attendant utilization using STATA version 14.0. Result The skilled birth attendant coverage trend showed an increment from 5.7% in 2005 to 49.8% in 2019. The inequality gaps within the wealth, residence and education categories also showed a reduction over time. The odds of utilizing SBA were higher among those having primary, secondary, and above education status [AOR?=?1.61 95%CI (1.33, 1.95)], being in the upper wealth quintile [AOR?=?3.46 95%CI (1.8, 4.31)] and living in urban areas [AOR?=?3.53 95%CI (1.88, 6.64)]. Conclusion The skilled birth attendant coverage trend showed a steady increase from 2005 to 2019 but if we continue with the current pace, it will be difficult to achieve the national target. The inequality gaps in household wealth status and residency area remain high. Efforts like strengthening the health system and engaging multisectoral agents need to be given priority to further reach the poorest and those living in rural areas to achieve national and international targets.