Back to browse results
Barriers to the utilization of maternal health care in rural Mali
Authors: Anastasia J. Gage
Source: Social Science and Medicine, In press
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Maternal health
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2007
Abstract: This study used data from the 2001 Demographic and Health Survey and multilevel logistic regression models to examine area- and individual-level barriers to the utilization of maternal health services in rural Mali. The analysis highlights a range of area-level influences on the use made of maternal health services. While the dearth of health facilities was a barrier to receipt of prenatal care in the first trimester, transportation barriers were more important for four or more prenatal visits, and distance barriers for delivery assistance by trained medical personnel and institutional delivery. Women's odds of utilizing maternal health services were strongly influenced by the practices of others in their areas of residence and by living in close proximity to people with secondary or higher education. Household poverty and personal problems were negatively related to all outcomes considered. The results highlight the importance of antenatal care and counseling about pregnancy complications for increasing the likelihood of appropriate delivery care, particularly among women living 15–29 km from a health facility. Area-level factors explained a greater proportion of the variation in delivery care than in prenatal care However, significant area variation in the utilization of maternal health services remained unexplained.