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Utilization of maternity care in Nigeria
This paper discusses the differentials of maternity care in Nigeria. The objective is to provide information that could form basis for the design, implementation and monitoring of strategies for improved maternity care and hence, of maternal health, in line with the fifth Millennium Development Goal. To achieve this objective, secondary data derived from the 1990, 1999 and 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS) were analysed using simple descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations. The results of the analyses show that, though the status of maternity care, as measured by Care with a Health Professional (CHP), Delivery with a Health Professional (DHP) and Delivery Within a Health Facility (DHF), in Nigeria is generally low, it is worse in the rural than urban areas. It appears lowest among women under 20 years and lowest in the Northwest region of Nigeria. The level of maternity care also appears to have increased as mother’s education and wealth quintile increased and decreased as birth order increased. Therefore, improved mother’s education and economic status have been recommended among others, as a means of improving the status of maternity care in Nigeria.