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Towards Achieving Equity in Utilisation of Maternal Health Services in Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries: Progress and Remaining Challenges in Priority Countries

In: Women and Sustainable Human Development


  • Estelle M. Sidze

    (African Population and Health Research Center)

  • Martin K. Mutua

    (African Population and Health Research Center)

  • Hermann P. Donfouet

    (African Population and Health Research Center)


This chapter highlights the gaps and challenges towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3, target 3.8 of universal maternal health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa, including financial risk protection and access to safe, quality, and affordable services by 2030. The analysis focuses on priority countries with high maternal mortality rates (i.e., Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Chad, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, and Kenya). Findings show that considerable numbers of poor pregnant women are still not accessing quality maternal health services in the region because of non-existent or weak national financing strategies that do not reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket payments. The need for effective implementation of social (health) protection programmes in these countries is evident, especially health insurance and fee waivers for antenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care. All priority countries should define equity goals with clear targets every 3–5 years and increase the quality and quantity of data monitoring to monitor progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle M. Sidze & Martin K. Mutua & Hermann P. Donfouet, 2020. "Towards Achieving Equity in Utilisation of Maternal Health Services in Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries: Progress and Remaining Challenges in Priority Countries," Gender, Development and Social Change, in: Maty Konte & Nyasha Tirivayi (ed.), Women and Sustainable Human Development, chapter 0, pages 111-124, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:gdechp:978-3-030-14935-2_7
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-14935-2_7

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