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Public Health


Chinaro Kennedy


Maternal health services (MHS) provide primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention to achieve better pregnancy outcomes. However, use of prenatal and natal services among Nigerian women has been ranked among the lowest in the world and, consequently, the country is among the 10 countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio. Moreover, nationwide community-based studies on the use of maternal health services in Nigeria are limited. To address this gap, this quantitative, cross-sectional study analyzed the 2008 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) data to identify whether Nigerian women's biological, cultural, and socioeconomic characteristics are associated with their use of MHS and pregnancy outcome as measured by number of antenatal visits, place of delivery, and fetal outcome. The Anderson's health behavior model was used as the theoretical framework for this study. Respondents were women aged 15 - 49 years (N= 31,985), who had given birth between January 2003 and December 2008. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were conducted. The results indicated that religion, education, income, and availability of skilled health workers showed consistent significant statistical association with both the number of ante natal care (ANC) visits and place of delivery even after controlling for covariates. Overall, these findings have potential for social change on the choice of public health interventions with collaboration with social services such as education, community, and labor sectors. Further, a systematic involvement of local communities is needed to drive specific culturally-sensitive interventions.