Patterns of maternity care service utilization in Southern Ethiopia: Evidence from a community and family survey

  • Yared Mekonnen


Background: Despite the fact that maternal health care utilization is essential for improvement of maternal and child health, little is known about the level and patterns of use of the service in Ethiopia.
Objective: This study examined the levels and patterns of maternity care service use in the five densely populated zones of the Southern Region of Ethiopia.
Data and Method: The study utilized data collected in a Community and Family Survey (CFS), which was conducted between early May and early June 1997. The CFS was cross-sectional by design and for this particular study a total of 1401 women who had at least one live birth in the six years preceding the survey were included.
Result: The study revealed that only 26.1 % and 3.3% of the women received antenatal and delivery care services, respectively. The probability of a woman having an antenatal care for her most recent birth was 0.280, but this was significantly higher if she had received a check-up for her previous birth (0.787). On the other hand, the probability of having received delivery care for the most recent birth given that the woman had attended for her immediately preceding birth was only 0.468. The study also revealed that the use of both antenatal and delivery care services for subsequent pregnancies is less apparent among those women with more than one under-five children and those residing in the rural parts of the study area.
Conclusion: To improve coverage of maternity care services in the study area health planners need to focus not only on those women who never utilize the services but also those who are not consistent in their use.

[Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2003;17(1):27-33]

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