There is evidence that women who have had their genitals cut suffer substantial difficulties during and/or after childbirth, including the need for a caesarean section, an episiotomy, an extended hospital stay, post-partum bleeding, and maternal fatalities. Whether or not women in sub-Saharan Africa who have undergone female genital mutilation utilize the services of skilled birth attendants during childbirth is unknown. Hence, we examined the association between female genital mutilation and skilled birth attendance in sub-Saharan Africa.
The data for this study were compiled from 10 sub-Saharan African countries’ most recent Demographic and Health Surveys. In the end, we looked at 57,994 women between the ages of 15 and 49. The association between female genital mutilation and skilled birth attendance was investigated using both fixed and random effects models.
Female genital mutilation and skilled birth attendance were found to be prevalent in 68.8% and 58.5% of women in sub-Saharan Africa, respectively. Women with a history of female genital mutilation had reduced odds of using skilled birth attendance (aOR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.86–0.96) than those who had not been circumcised. In Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo, women with female genital mutilation had reduced odds of having a trained delivery attendant compared to women in Burkina Faso.
This study shed light on the link between female genital mutilation and skilled birth attendance among sub-Saharan African women. The study's findings provide relevant information to government agencies dealing with gender, children, and social protection, allowing them to design specific interventions to prevent female genital mutilation, which is linked to non-use of skilled birth attendance. Also, health education which focuses on childbearing women and their partners are necessary in enhancing awareness about the significance of skilled birth attendance and the health consequences of female genital mutilation.
Bibliographical noteWe are grateful to the MEASURE DHS for granting free access to the original data.
© 2022. The Author(s).
- Female genital mutilation
- Skilled birth attendance
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Women’s health