Postnatal care utilisation among women in rural Ghana: analysis of 2014 Ghana demographic and health survey

Francis APPIAH*, Tarif SALIHU, Justice Ofosu Darko FENTENG, Andrews Ohene DARTEH, Patience KANNOR, Patience Ansomah AYERAKWAH, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW

*Corresponding author for this work

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

10 Citations (Scopus)



Maternal mortality is high in Ghana, averaging 310 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017. This is partly due to inadequate postnatal care especially among rural communities. Ghana can avert the high maternal deaths if women meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended early postnatal care check-up. Despite the association between geographical location and postnatal care utilisation, no study has been done on determinants of postnatal care among rural residents in Ghana. Therefore, this study determined the prevalence and correlates of postnatal care utilization among women in rural Ghana.


The study utilised women’s file of the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS). Following descriptive computation of the prevalence, binary logistic regression was fitted to assess correlates of postnatal care at 95% confidence interval. The results were presented in adjusted odds ratio (AOR). Any AOR less than 1 was interpreted as reduced likelihood of PNC attendance whilst AOR above 1 depicted otherwise. All analyses were done using Stata version 14.0.


The study revealed that 74% of the rural women had postnatal care. At the inferential level, women residing in Savanna zone had higher odds of postnatal care compared to those in the Coastal zone [AOR = 1.80, CI = 1.023–3.159], just as among the Guan women as compared to the Akan [AOR = 7.15, CI = 1.602–31.935]. Women who were working were more probable to utilise postnatal care compared to those not working [AOR = 1.45, CI = 1.015–2.060]. Those who considered distance as unproblematic were more likely to utilise postnatal care compared to those who considered distance as problematic [AOR = 1.63, CI = 1.239–2.145].


The study showed that ethnicity, ecological zone, occupation and distance to health facility predict postnatal care utilisation among rural residents of Ghana. The study points to the need for government to increase maternal healthcare facilities in rural settings in order to reduce the distance covered by women in seeking postnatal care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Measure DHS for making data available and accessible for the study.


  • Correlates
  • Ghana
  • Postnatal care
  • Prevalence
  • Public health
  • Reproductive health
  • Rural women


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