The effects of individual and community-level factors on maternal health outcomes in GhanaPlosOne (2018)
Utilization of maternal health care services is key to reducing the number of perinatal deaths and post-natal complications in sub-Saharan Africa. With a few exceptions, many studies that examine the use of maternal health services in sub-Saharan Africa have focused largely on individual-level explanations and have ignored the importance of contextual and community-level explanations. In Ghana, progress has been made in reducing maternal mortality ratio from 740/100,000 in the late 1990s to 319/100,000 in 2015 but these rates are still high. Our study focuses on impact of individual and community level-factors on maternal outcomes with the hope that it will inform public policy in Ghana. This approach highlights latent or unacknowledged aspects of fragility within health systems designed to improve maternal health and opportunities for improving uptake of services.
Methods and findings
Using the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, we examined the effects of individual and community-level factors on antenatal care, facility-based delivery, and post-natal care. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to examine the effects of individual and community-level factors on the outcome variables. Our analysis revealed that overall utilization of antenatal, facility-based delivery and post-natal care was substantial across the board; however, both individual and community-level factors were significant predictors of these maternal health outcomes. Wealthier and better educated women were more likely to use antenatal services and facility-based delivery; in contrast poor and uneducated women were more likely to use antenatal and postnatal care but not facility-based delivery. Additionally, use of National Health Insurance Scheme was statistically associated with the utilization of maternal health services.
The findings point to areas where services can be better tailored to meet community-specific needs. Policy makers must consider factors such as educational levels and economic security at both individual and community-levels that shape women’s preferences and uptake of maternal health care in Ghana.
- individual factors,
- community-level factors,
- maternal health outcomes,
- quantitative methods
Publication DateFall September 18, 2018
Citation InformationJoseph Adu. "The effects of individual and community-level factors on maternal health outcomes in Ghana" PlosOne (2018)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joseph-adu/3/