|High coverage but low quality of maternal and newborn health services in the coverage cascade: who is benefitted and left behind in accessing better quality health services in Nepal?|
||Resham B. Khatri, Jo Durham, Rajendra Karkee and Yibeltal Assefa
||Reproductive Health, Volume 19, issue 163; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-022-01465-z
Antenatal care (ANC) visits, institutional delivery, and postnatal care (PNC) visits are vital to improve the health of mothers and newborns. Despite improved access to these routine maternal and newborn health (MNH) services in Nepal, little is known about the cascade of health service coverage, particularly contact coverage, intervention-specific coverage, and quality-adjusted coverage of MNH services. This study examined the cascade of MNH services coverage, as well as social determinants associated with uptake of quality MNH services in Nepal.
We conducted a secondary analysis of data derived from the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2016, taking 1978 women aged 15–49 years who had a live birth in the 2 years preceding the survey. Three outcome variables were (i) four or more (4+) ANC visits, (ii) institutional delivery, and (iii) first PNC visit for mothers and newborns within 48 h of childbirth. We applied a cascade of health services coverage, including contact coverage, intervention-specific and quality-adjusted coverage, using a list of specific intervention components for each outcome variable. Several social determinants of health were included as independent variables to identify determinants of uptake of quality MNH services. We generated a quality score for each outcome variable and dichotomised the scores into two categories of “poor” and “optimal” quality, considering >?0.8 as a cut-off point. Binomial logistic regression was conducted and odds ratios (OR) were reported with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) at the significance level of p?0.05 (two-tailed).
Contact coverage was higher than intervention-specific coverage and quality-adjusted coverage across all MNH services. Women with advantaged ethnicities or who had access to bank accounts had higher odds of receiving optimal quality MNH services, while women who speak the Maithili language and who had high birth order (=?4) had lower odds of receiving optimal quality ANC services. Women who received better quality ANC services had higher odds of receiving optimal quality institutional delivery. Women received poor quality PNC services if they were from remote provinces, had higher birth order and perceived problems when not having access to female providers.
Women experiencing ethnic and social disadvantages, and from remote provinces received poor quality MNH services. The quality-adjusted coverage can be estimated using household survey data, such as demographic and health surveys, especially in countries with limited routine data. Policies and programs should focus on increasing quality of MNH services and targeting disadvantaged populations and those living in remote areas. Ensuring access to female health providers and improving the quality of earlier maternity visits could improve the quality of health care during the pregnancy-delivery-postnatal period.