Skilled Birth Attendance in Nigeria: A Function of Frequency and Content of Antenatal Care
The utilization rate of maternal services remains low in sub-Saharan Africa and may be contributing to the region’s high maternal mortality rate. This study examines the influence of antenatal care (ANC) on skilled birth attendance (SBA) in Nigeria. The data used were collected from a nationally representative sample of women (aged 15-49) in 2011. The sample is restricted to women who were within two years postpartum (weighted n=9879). Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the association between ANC (number of visits attended and services received during last pregnancy) and SBA. Despite 70% of the women receiving any ANC, only 49% had SBA during their last childbirth. The number of ANC services received, rather than the number of ANC visits attended, was positively associated with having SBA during last childbirth after controlling for relevant covariates (p<0.05). The focus, therefore, should be on increasing the number of services received during ANC.
Keywords: Antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, pregnancy, Nigeria
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