Factors Associated with Age-Specific Maternal Health-Seeking Behaviours Among Women: A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey-based Study in 10 African Countries

Qiwei He, Marhaba Abdureyim, Ziwei He, Miaojia Huang, Xuemei Ma, Tiange Zhang, Xinran Qi, Jiayi Hee, Kung Tang

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background Maternal health-seeking behaviours (MHSB) are crucial for maintaining maternal health and reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR). However, little is known about age-specific MHSB in African countries. This study aims to examine the association between composite indicators of maternal characteristics, household conditions, and socioeconomic factors with MHSB among women from different childbearing age groups in 10 African countries. Methods Based on the responses of 77303 women and 68391 households in 10African countries to a nationally-representative round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS6), we used age at childbearing to categorize women into groups according to their recent MHSB. In both pooled and age-specific analysis, multivariable logistic regression was applied to identify the predictors associated with MHSB. These factors were ranked with four sets of regression models. Results This cross-sectional study found a prevalence of 27.69% (95% confidence interval (CI)=26.93%-28.46%), 45.14% (95% CI=44.29%-46.00%), and 28.60% (95% CI=27.82%-29.40%) for four or more antenatal care visits (ANC4),intrapartum care (IPC), and postnatal care (PNC) service utilization, respectively. In the full sample, high household wealth ranked as the strongest determinant for all three MHSB, followed by mass media exposure for ANC4 utilization (odds ratio (OR)=1.45; 95% CI=1.20-1.76, P<0.001), and higher education levels(secondary school education) for IPC and PNC utilization (IPC: OR=1.49; 95%CI=1.23-1.79, P<0.001, PNC: OR=1.39; 95% CI=1.20-1.62, P<0.001). However, higher maternal parity (three births and above) was associated with lower utilization of ANC4 (OR=0.86; 95% CI=0.76-0.96, P<0.007), and residence in rural areas was associated with a lower IPC and PNC utilization (IPC: OR=0.65;95% CI=0.54-0.79, P<0.001, PNC: OR=0.70; 95% CI=0.57-0.85, P<0.001).Conclusions Our study provided further information on the direct and indirect factors associated with the utilization of maternal health services by women of different childbearing ages in 10 African countries. Additionally, the heterogeneous results among different childbearing age groups suggest that age-specific programmes and national policies are crucial for improving MHSB, and thus reducing MMR in Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04095
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Global Health
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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