Publications Summary

Document Type
Further Analysis
Publication Topic(s)
Maternal Health, Maternal Mortality
Nigeria DHS, 2013
Recommended Citation
Mallick, Lindsay, Tukur Dahiru, and Kerry L.D. MacQuarrie. 2016. Trends in Maternal Health in Nigeria, 2003-2013. DHS Further Analysis Reports No 102. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
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Publication Date
August 2016
Publication ID


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This study uses data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in Nigeria in 2003, 2008, and 2013 to assess levels and trends in maternal health indicators. The analysis focuses on four areas of indicators directly related to the risk of maternal mortality and morbidity: antenatal care and its components; birth assistance and place of delivery; postnatal care; and high-risk fertility behaviors. The study examines associations with socio-demographic characteristics to assess differentials in maternal health indicators across population sub-groups. Substantial disparities in maternal health indicators by wealth, education, and between Northern and Southern geopolitical zones were identified. Analysis of trends shows significant changes between the 2003 and 2013 surveys in some but not all maternal health indicators. Generally, significant improvements are concentrated between the 2008 and 2013 surveys. Apparent stagnation or modest improvement in some indicators between 2003 and 2013 masks a general pattern of deterioration before 2008 followed by significant recovery between 2008 and 2013. All four antenatal care indicators— four or more antenatal care visits, antenatal care by four months of pregnancy, iron supplementation, and tetanus toxoid immunization—showed significant improvements between 2008 and 2013. By contrast, there were no overall improvements over the study period in delivery care (facility-based delivery, skilled attendance at birth, cesarean section rates), postnatal care (postnatal check-up within two days after childbirth), or high-risk fertility (young or older maternal age, high-parity births, and short birth intervals).


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