Background: Deworming is one of the strategies to reduce the burden of anemia among pregnant women. Globally, pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa are more affected by anemia. Therefore, this study examined both the coverage and demographic, socioeconomic, and women empowerment-related factors associated with the utilization of deworming medication among pregnant married women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Methods: We used data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys of 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted between 2010 and 2019. Using Stata version-14 software, analysis was done on 168,910 pregnant married women. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the factors associated with the utilization of deworming medication. The results were presented using adjusted odds ratios (aORs) at 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: The pooled results showed that about 50.7% (95% CI 48.2–53.3%) of pregnant married women in the studied countries took deworming medications, and this varied from as high as 84.1% in Sierra Leone to as low as 2% in Angola. Regarding sub-regional coverage, the highest and lowest coverages were seen in East Africa (67.6%, 95% CI 66.0–69.1%) and West Africa (24.3%, 95% CI 22.4–26.4%) respectively. We found higher odds of utilization of deworming medication among older pregnant married women (aOR=1.93, 95% CI 1.32–2.84), women with educated husbands (aOR=1.40, 95% CI 1.11–1.77), wealthier women (aOR=3.12, 95% CI 1.95–4.99), women exposed to media (aOR=1.46, 95% CI 1.18–1.80), and those who had four or more antenatal care visits (aOR=1.51, 95% CI 1.24–1.83).
Conclusions: Enhancing women’s education, disseminating information about maternal healthcare services through mass media, and ensuring that women from economically disadvantaged households benefit from national economic growth can be considered as deworming medication improvement strategies in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, providing more attention to adolescents or young pregnant women and increasing the number of antenatal care visits could be considered to increase deworming uptake among pregnant married women.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the MEASURE DHS project for their support and for free access to the original data.
© 2021, The Author(s).
- Global health
- Pregnant women
- Sub-Saharan Africa