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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC pregnancy and childbirth
Title A geospatial analysis of the impacts of maternity care fee payment policies on the uptake of skilled birth care in Ghana
Author(s)
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0833-z
Abstract
Background
Many low and middle income countries have initiated maternity fee exemption and removal policies to promote use of skilled maternity care. After two and a half decades of these policies, uptake of skilled birth care remains low and inequalities continue to exist in many low and middle income countries. This study uses 2 decades of birth histories data to examine four maternity fee paying policies enacted in Ghana over the past 3 decades and their geospatial impacts on uptake of skilled delivery care.

Methods
Bayesian Geoadditive Semiparametric regression techniques were applied on four conservative rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys in Ghana to examine the extent of geospatial dependence in skilled birth care use at the district level and their associative relationships with maternity fee paying policies focusing on the temporal trends when the policies were functional.

Results
The results show that at the country-level, the policies had a positive influence on use of skilled delivery care; however their impacts on reducing between-district inequalities were trivial.

Conclusions
The findings suggest that targeted interventions at the district level are essential to strengthen maternal health programmes in Ghana.

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