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The socio-economic determinants of maternal health care utilization in Ghana


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  • Patience Aseweh Abor
  • Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah
  • Kojo Sakyi
  • Charles K.D. Adjasi
  • Joshua Abor
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    Purpose – The study aims to examine the socio-economic determinants of maternal health services utilization in Ghana. Design/methodology/approach – Probit and ordered probit models are employed in this study. Findings – The results generally indicate that most women in Ghana undertake the required visits for antenatal services and also take both doses of the tetanus toxoid vaccine as required by World Health Organization. However, the results show low levels of usage in terms of the other maternal health care services (i.e. prenatal care, delivery at a health facility, and postnatal care). There is clearly an urgent need to develop innovative strategies that will help upscale intervention especially for improvement in the use of these services by women in Ghana. The regression results reveal that utilization of maternal health services and intensity of use of antenatal services are influenced by age of mother, type of birth, education of mother, ethnicity, economic status, geographic location, residence, and religious affiliation. Obviously, this suggests that more than medical factors are responsible for the differences in the use of maternal health services by women in Ghana as well as the decision on the number of visits to undertake with respect to antenatal visits. Originality/value – The findings of this study have important implications for health policy formulation targeted at improving maternal health care service utilization.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 628-648

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:7:p:628-648

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

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    Keywords: Care; Ghana; Health care; Maternal health; Maternity services; Socio-economic determinants; Socio-economic regions; Utilization;


    References listed on IDEAS
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    1. Wong, Emelita L. & Popkin, Barry M. & Guilkey, David K. & Akin, John S., 1987. "Accessibility, quality of care and prenatal care use in the Philippines," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 927-944, January.
    2. Celik, Yusuf & Hotchkiss, David R., 2000. "The socio-economic determinants of maternal health care utilization in Turkey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(12), pages 1797-1806, June.
    3. Raghupathy, Shobana, 1996. "Education and the use of maternal health care in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 459-471, August.
    4. G.B. Overbosch & N.N.N. Nsowah-Nuamah & G.J.M. van den Boom & L. Damnyag, 2004. "Determinants of Antenatal Care Use in Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(2), pages 277-301, June.
    5. Fosu, Gabriel B., 1994. "Childhood morbidity and health services utilization: Cross-national comparisons of user-related factors from DHS data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1209-1220, May.
    6. Navaneetham, K. & Dharmalingam, A., 2002. "Utilization of maternal health care services in Southern India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(10), pages 1849-1869, November.
    7. Gage, Anastasia J., 2007. "Barriers to the utilization of maternal health care in rural Mali," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(8), pages 1666-1682, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bove, Riley M. & Vala-Haynes, Emily & Valeggia, Claudia R., 2012. "Women's health in urban Mali: Social predictors and health itineraries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1392-1399.
    2. Nkechi Owoo & Monica Lambon-Quayefio, 2013. "National health insurance, social influence and antenatal care use in Ghana," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-12, December.


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