Persistence of the inverse care law in maternal health service utilization: An examination of antenatal care and hospital delivery in Ghana

  • Coretta M.P. Jonah | cmpjonah@gmail.com DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Abstract

The gap in maternal health outcomes, access and utilization between the haves and have-nots continues to be a challenge globally despite improvements over the past decade. Though Ghana has experienced steady gains in maternal health access and utilization over the years, maternal outcomes, on the other hand, remain poor. In this regard, it is essential to know how various groups in the population achieved improvements and whether some women continue to be disproportionately disadvantaged. The paper performs an analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2017 Ghana maternal health survey to examine the existence of the inverse care law in maternal health services in Ghana. Using descriptive techniques and multivariate logistic regression models the study reveals a pro-rich and pro-urban gradient in the use of hospital facilities for delivery and antenatal care attendance — also, regions known for their high levels of poverty feature significantly lower rates of hospital deliveries. The paper concludes by stressing that unless policies are changed to accommodate these groups, overall gains in maternal health will continue to be incremental.

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Published
2020-03-20
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
inverse care law, logistic regression, healthcare, Ghana, maternal health, utilization
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How to Cite
Jonah, C. (2020). Persistence of the inverse care law in maternal health service utilization: An examination of antenatal care and hospital delivery in Ghana. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2019.1118