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Mapping maternal and newborn healthcare access in West African Countries

Dorothy Ononokpono, Bernard Baffour, Alice Richardson

Abstract

Background: The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three emphasizes the need to improve maternal and newborn health, and reduce global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030. Achieving the SDG goal 3.1 target will require evidence based data on concealed inequities in the distribution of maternal and child health outcomes and their linkage to healthcare access. The objectives of this study were to estimate the number of women of reproductive age, pregnancies and live births at subnational level using high resolution maps and to quantify the number of pregnancies within user-defined distances or travel times of a health facility in three poor resource West African countries: Mali, Guinea and Liberia. Methods: The maternal and newborn health outcomes were estimated and mapped for the purpose of visualization using geospatial analytic tools. Buffer analysis was then performed to assess the proximity of pregnancies to health facilities with the aim of identifying pregnancies with inadequate access (beyond 50km) to a health facility. Results: Results showed wide variations in the distribution of maternal and newborn health outcomes across the countries of interest and districts of each of the countries. There was also clustering of health outcomes and health facilities at the urban capital cities of Bamako, Conakry, and Greater Monrovia. Conclusion: To bridge the gap in inequity in healthcare access, and improve maternal and newborn health in the study countries, there is need for equitable distribution of human resources and infrastructure within and across the various districts.

Keywords
Maternal and newborn health, districts, West Africa, mapping, geospatial analysis, buffer analysis.

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Preprint: Please note that this article has not completed peer review.

Mapping maternal and newborn healthcare access in West African Countries

Dorothy Ononokpono, Bernard Baffour, Alice Richardson

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Abstract

Background: The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three emphasizes the need to improve maternal and newborn health, and reduce global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030. Achieving the SDG goal 3.1 target will require evidence based data on concealed inequities in the distribution of maternal and child health outcomes and their linkage to healthcare access. The objectives of this study were to estimate the number of women of reproductive age, pregnancies and live births at subnational level using high resolution maps and to quantify the number of pregnancies within user-defined distances or travel times of a health facility in three poor resource West African countries: Mali, Guinea and Liberia. Methods: The maternal and newborn health outcomes were estimated and mapped for the purpose of visualization using geospatial analytic tools. Buffer analysis was then performed to assess the proximity of pregnancies to health facilities with the aim of identifying pregnancies with inadequate access (beyond 50km) to a health facility. Results: Results showed wide variations in the distribution of maternal and newborn health outcomes across the countries of interest and districts of each of the countries. There was also clustering of health outcomes and health facilities at the urban capital cities of Bamako, Conakry, and Greater Monrovia. Conclusion: To bridge the gap in inequity in healthcare access, and improve maternal and newborn health in the study countries, there is need for equitable distribution of human resources and infrastructure within and across the various districts.

Figures

Introduction

Data and Methods

Results

Discussion

Conclusions

Declarations

References

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