Does female education explain the disparity in the use of antenatal and natal services in Nigeria? Evidence from demographic and health survey data
Background: Nigeria is among the countries with a high number of annual maternal deaths partly due to low utilization of maternal health services (MHS).
Objective: This study aimed to explore whether there is an association between women’s level of education and the appropriate use of antenatal and delivery services.
Method: A quantitative cross-sectional study was used to analyze the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) data. Information from 33,385 women aged 15 – 49 years was analyzed using Bivariate Pearson Chi square test and multiple logistic regressions.
Results: Education is statistically associated with the number of antenatal clinic visits made (AOR = 3.208; CI 2.875 – 3.578; p < .0001) and the place of delivery (AOR = 2.009; CI 1.449 – 2.785; p < .0001) even after controlling for availability of skilled health workers, parity, income, religion, age and distance.
Conclusion: A long term investment in girls’ education will improve income, interaction with health care providers, level of autonomy to seek and pay for appropriate MHS and ultimately use of MHS and positive pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Education, antenatal, delivery, Nigeria