Factors affecting maternal health care services utilization in rural Ethiopia: A study based on the 2011 EDHS data

  • K Mehari
  • E Wencheko


Background: Many mothers suffer from complications of pregnancy and delivery in Ethiopia. Maternal mortality in Ethiopia is one of the highest in the world. In 2006 the maternal mortality rate for Ethiopia was 673 per 100,000 live births. Maternal healthcare service utilization in the country is far below the acceptable level, as a result of that maternal mortality is attributed to this shortcoming.
Objective: The main objective of this study was to identify factors affecting utilization of each one of the three maternal health care services (antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care) in rural Ethiopia.
Methods: The data for the study were taken from the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey which was a nationally representative survey of women in the age group15-49 years. Data about mothers who had at least one child in the five years before the survey were analyzed. To estimate the effect of the socio-economic and demographic variables on maternal health service utilization three outcome predictor variables were considered. These were use of antenatal care, delivery care and postnatal care services. The statistical method used to analyze the data and develop an appropriate model was multiple logistic regression.
Results: Mother’s age at birth, mother’s educational level, sex of head of household, household wealth status, employment/work status of mothers, region, religion, birth order and partner’s/husband’s level of educational were found to be predictors of utilization of delivery care and postnatal care services. Religion and sex of household head did not predict antenatal care use.
Conclusion: In order to increase utilization of mother health care services and improve maternal health care utilization services in rural Ethiopia critical interventions on the part of regional governments and the federal government would be necessary; efforts should be made to avail more resources to educate mothers. The same goes to creating job opportunities for mothers. Non-government bodies could contribute their share to alleviate the level of literacy and helping mothers to be economically self-reliant. The wider community and mass media should engage in creating awareness about the disadvantages of early marriage and high birth orders.

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eISSN: 1021-6790