New Article Observes Gaps in Maternal and Newborn Health Service Use across the Continuum of Care

March 28th, 2022 | News


To reduce newborn, perinatal, and maternal mortality, health care systems need a holistic approach. The continuum of maternal and newborn care provides a systematic framework for delivering high-impact interventions across pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum in different levels of service delivery. A recent journal article co-written by Gizachew Tadele of our L10K project, examines the factors leading to the under-utilization of maternal and newborn services in four regions of Ethiopia.

In lower-income countries, coverage across the life cycle continuum is quite low. To further understand the gap in service use, the authors conducted a multi-level analysis of possible predictors. These included wealth, mothers’ education levels, distance to the health facility, being a model family, participation in a pregnancy conference, family relationships, early antenatal care booking, complete antenatal care services, and use of maternal waiting homes.

The authors found that only one-fifth of women used maternal and newborn health services across the full care continuum. Most of the women discontinued at the postpartum stage, and use varied significantly based on wealth, family relationships, level of antenatal care, and more. Despite good access to antepartum care throughout the country, continuity of care across the pathway decreased, with the poorest segment of the population being the most disadvantaged.

The article was published in PLoS ONE.

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