Inequalities in the prevalence of skilled birth attendance in Ghana between 1993 and 2014

Justice Kanor TETTEH*, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Collins ADU, Ebenezer AGBAGLO, Pascal AGBADI, Jerry John NUTOR

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Background
Globally, maternal and neonatal health remains a public health priority, particularly for resource-constrained regions like sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Skilled birth attendance (SBA) is essential in promoting maternal and neonatal health. This study investigated the inequalities in the prevalence of SBA in Ghana using data from the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) between 1993 and 2014.

Methods
Data were analysed using the World Health Organization's Health Equity Assessment Toolkit software. In analysing the data, we first disaggregated SBA by four inequality stratifiers: wealth index, education, residence, and region. Second, we measured the inequality through summary measures, namely difference, population attributable risk, ratio, and population attributable fraction. A 95% confidence interval was constructed for point estimates to measure statistical significance.

Results
Throughout the period, SBA was highest among women in the highest wealth quintile and those with a secondary or higher level of education. The analysis also indicated that SBA was highly concentrated among urban residents in 1993 (80.78 [95% uncertainty interval {UI} 76.20–84.66]) and persisted to 2014 (91.55 [95% UI 88.80–93.68]). In 1993, Northern region recorded the lowest prevalence of SBA in Ghana (15.69 [95% UI 11.20–21.54]) and the region consistently recorded the lowest SBA prevalence even into 2014 (38.21 [95% UI 27.44–50.27]).

Conclusions
There are significant inequalities in SBA across education, wealth, residence, and region in Ghana. To enhance SBA, there is the need for policymakers and interventionists to design and develop targeted policies and programs that are tailored to the needs of the subpopulations at risk of low SBA: women with no formal education, those within the poorest wealth quintile, rural-dwelling women and women in the Northern region. This will facilitate the uptake of SBA and ultimately translate into the realization of Sustainable Development Goals 3.1 and 3.2.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberihac071
JournalInternational Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to the MEASURE DHS project for giving us free access to the original data.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Keywords

  • demographic and health surveys
  • Ghana
  • Global Health
  • inequality
  • maternal health
  • skilled birth attendance

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