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Effect of power outages on the use of maternal health services: evidence from Maharashtra, India
Authors: Mustafa Koroglu, Bridget R Irwin, and Karen A Grépin
Source: BMJ Global Health, 4: e001372; DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001372
Topic(s): Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2019
Abstract: Introduction Electricity outages are common in low/middle-income countries and have been shown to adversely affect the operation of health facilities; however, little is known about the effect of outages on the utilisation of health services. Methods Using data from the 2015–2016 India Demographic Health Survey, combined with information on electricity outages as reported by the state electricity provider, we explore the associations between outage duration and frequency and delivery in an institution, skilled birth attendance, and caesarean section delivery in Maharashtra State, India. We employ multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for individual and household-level covariates as well as month and district-level fixed effects. Results Power outage frequency was associated with a significantly lower odds of delivering in an institution (OR 0.98; 95%?CI 0.96 to 0.99), and the average number of 8.5 electricity interruptions per month was found to yield a 2.08% lower likelihood of delivering in a facility, which translates to an almost 18% increase in home births. Both power outage frequency and duration were associated with a significantly lower odds of skilled birth attendance (OR 0.97; 95%?CI 0.95 to 0.99, and OR 0.99; 95%?CI 0.992 to 0.999, respectively), while neither power outage frequency nor duration was a significant predictor of caesarean section delivery. Conclusion Power outage frequency and duration are important determinants of maternal health service usage in Maharashtra State, India. Improving electricity services may lead to improved maternal and newborn health outcomes