Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Primary Care Facilities Are Key to Maternal Health

Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Primary Care Facilities Are Key to Maternal Health

Article excerpt

Interventions that focus on improving maternal health services at primary care facilities may be particularly effective in increasing poor women's access to and use of skilled care during childbirth, according to a study conducted in two rural districts in southeastern Burkina Faso. (1) In Ouargaye--where an intervention that focused on improving the quality, availability and accessibility of routine and emergency obstetric care was implemented in 2003 at the district hospital and health centers--the proportion of women who had been pregnant in the past two years who had delivered in a health facility doubled from 29% at baseline to 57% in 2006; the proportion of births attended by a doctor, nurse or midwife more than doubled during that period, from 24% to 56%. In the matched nonintervention district of Diapaga, the proportion of women who delivered in a health facility did not increase over the study period and the proportion who used a skilled attendant rose only slightly (from 32% to 36%). At baseline, women in the wealthiest quintile were much more likely than those in the poorest to deliver in a health facility in both Ouargaye (44% vs. …

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