Date of Conferral
Daniel N. Okenu
Malaria in pregnancy remains a public health challenge in Nigeria despite the fund appropriation for malaria control. The health challenges of malaria in pregnancy vary with populations and there is limited knowledge on the impact of the socioeconomic status and health-seeking behavior on malaria in pregnancy in Nigeria. The objective of this cross-sectional quantitative survey was to examine whether socioeconomic status and health-seeking behavior predict malaria in pregnancy in Nigeria using the social cognitive theoretical model. The data from a 2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey was used in this study. Data were analyzed using chi-square, binary, and multivariate logistics regression analyses. The study demonstrated that socioeconomic status (wealth index/income [Poorest: OR 2.709, 95% CI 1.869-3.928, p 0.000; Poorer: OR 1.791, 95% CI 1.256-2.555, p 0.00] and no education: OR 2.868, 95% CI 1.761-4.671, p 0.000) made significant contributions in predicting malaria in pregnancy. The research results also showed that socioeconomic status is a predictor of health-seeking behavior (wealth index/income [Poorest: OR 0.414, 95% CI 0.244-0.705, p 0.001], no education: OR 0.329, 95% CI 0.174-0.622, p 0.001 and primary education: OR 0.348, 95% CI 0.191-0.636, p 0.001). Additionally, the study findings showed that malaria in pregnancy determined the choice of formal health-seeking behavior by pregnant women (malaria in pregnancy: OR 0.551, 95% CI 0.469-0.648, p 0.000). The results of this research might guide Nigeria's Ministry of Health to develop approaches on women empowerment that would focus on socioeconomic status and health-seeking behavior of women such as programs to improve women's education and income generation.