Persistence of the inverse care law in maternal health service utilization: An examination of antenatal care and hospital delivery in Ghana
Accepted: 17 October 2019
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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.