Determinants of Maternal Healthcare Utilization in Nigeria
Reproductive healthcare has remained a point of concern in sub-Saharan Africa due to the prevailing high maternal mortality rate. Despite the fact that the utilization of maternal healthcare services is a curbing solution, the records of utilization still remains low. This paper examined the determinants of the decision to use healthcare services by women within the reproductive ages of 15 to 49 with at least a child. Logit models of the use of prenatal care only and the non-use of both prenatal and postnatal care were estimated. A probit regression was also estimated for the probability of child delivery in a hospital or maternity home. Urban and rural differentials were also estimated. Education significantly increased the utilization of prenatal care, postnatal care and a hospital or maternity home for delivery among both urban and rural women. Mothers’ age and urban residence also significantly increased the utilization of prenatal and postnatal care but not the use of a hospital or maternity home for delivery. Shorter distance to clinics discouraged non-utilization of both prenatal and postnatal care. Acquiring at least a primary education, discouraging child marriages and early childbearing, and improving rural health infrastructures should be priority goals for policy.
Key Words: maternal and reproductive health, probit regression, Logit models
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