Continuum of care in maternal and child health in Indonesia

Anu Rammohan, Srinivas Goli, Hoi Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: This paper aims to empirically analyze the socioeconomic and demographic correlates of maternal and child health (MCH) care utilization in Indonesia using the continuum of care (CoC) concept. Background: The concept of CoC has emerged as an important guiding principle in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health. Indonesia's maternal mortality rate, neonatal mortality, and under-five mortality rates are among the highest in the Southeast Asian region. Methods: Using pooled data from four successive waves of the nationally representative Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (IDHS) conducted in the years 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017, we use multivariate regression models to analyze care across four components of the continuum: antenatal care (ANC), institutional delivery, postnatal care for children, and full immunization (IM). Findings: CoC at each stage of MCH care has improved continuously over the period 2002-2017 in Indonesia. Despite this, just less than one out of two children receive all four components of the CoC. The overall coverage of CoC from its second stage (four or more ANC visits) to the final stage (full child IM) is driven by the dropouts at the ANC visit stage, followed by the loss of postnatal checkups and child IM. We find that the probability of a child receiving CoC at each of the four stages is significantly associated with maternal age and education, the household's socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, and economic status. Conclusion: Complete CoC with improved, affordable, and accessible MCH care services has the potential to accelerate the progress of Sustainable Development Goal 3 by reducing maternal and childhood mortality risks. Our findings show that in Indonesia, the CoC continuously declines as women proceed from ANC to other MCH services, with a sharp decline observed after four ANC visits. Our study has identified key socioeconomic characteristics of women and children that increase their probability of failing to access care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17
Number of pages12
JournalPrimary Health Care Research and Development
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024


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