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Is improvement in indicators of women's empowerment associated with uptake of WHO recommended IPTp-SP levels in sub-Saharan Africa? A multilevel approach
Authors: Edward Kwabena Ameyaw, Carolyne Njue, Roberta Mensima Amoah, Francis Appiah, Linus Baatiema, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, Abdul-Aziz Seidu, John Kuumuori Ganle, Sanni Yaya
Source: BMJ Open, DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047606
Topic(s): Child health
Women's autonomy
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: OCT 2021
Abstract: Objectives: The global burden of malaria has reduced considerably; however, malaria in pregnancy remains a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where about 32 million pregnant women are at risk of acquiring malaria. The WHO has recommended that pregnant women in high malaria transmission locations, including SSA, have intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy with at least three doses of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of IPTp-SP uptake and associated individual-level, community-level and country-level predictors in SSA. Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using recent Demographic and Health Surveys datasets of 20 SSA countries. A total of 96 765 women were included. Optimum uptake of IPTp-SP at most recent pregnancy was the outcome variable. We fitted three-level multilevel models: individual, community and country parameters at 95% credible interval. Results: In all, 29.2% of the women had optimal IPTp-SP uptake ranging from 55.1% (in Zambia) to 6.9% (in Gambia). The study revealed a high likelihood of optimum IPTp-SP uptake among women with high knowledge (aOR=1.298, Crl 1.206 to 1.398) relative to women with low knowledge. Women in upper-middle-income countries were more than three times likely to have at least three IPTp-SP doses compared with those in low-income countries (aOR=3.268, Crl 2.392 to 4.098). We found that community (s2=1.999, Crl 1.088 to 2.231) and country (s2=1.853, Crl 1.213 to 2.831) level variations exist in optimal uptake of IPTp-SP. According to the intracluster correlation, 53.9% and 25.9% of the variation in optimum IPTp-SP uptake are correspondingly attributable to community-level and country-level factors. Conclusions: The outcome of our study suggests that low-income SSA countries should increase budgetary allocation to maternal health, particularly for IPTp-SP interventions. IPTp-SP advocacy behavioural change communication strategies must focus on women with low knowledge, rural dwellers, married women and those who do not meet the minimum of eight antenatal care visits.