Effects of Spatial Location and Household Wealth on the Utilisation of Skilled Birth Attendants at Delivery Among Women in Rural Ghana
Skilled attendance during delivery has been identified as a panacea to the amelioration of maternal and new-born mortality, but utilisation is lower in rural areas than in urban areas of Ghana. The study examined the role of spatial location and household wealth in the use of skilled birth attendants at delivery among rural women in Ghana. The paper made use of data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Women from rural areas who had given birth within five years prior to the survey were included in the analysis. Frequency, percentage, Chi-square tests as well as binary and multivariate logistic regression estimation techniques were used to analyse the data. The probability of utilising skilled birth attendants at delivery increased by household wealth. Rural women in coastal Ghana also had the least probability of utilising skilled assistance at delivery. There are spatial differences in the use of skilled birth attendants at delivery among women in rural Ghana with those in the coastal areas having the highest probability of non-utilisation. A perpetuation of the current spatial and wealth variations in the utilisation of skilled birth attendants at delivery among women in the rural parts of the country implies that Ghana may not be able to meet her Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by the year 2030. The study, therefore, underscores the need for geographical and income vulnerability considerations in identifying rural populations for special skilled delivery care interventions in improving maternal health outcomes.