Publications by authors named "Edward Kwabena Ameyaw"

100 Publications

Prevalence of anemia and its associated factors among married women in 19 sub-Saharan African countries.

Arch Public Health 2021 Nov 29;79(1):214. Epub 2021 Nov 29.

School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the region with the highest burden of anemia globally. Since anemia has both health and non-health-related consequences, its reduction is one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the prevalence of anemia and its associated factors among married women in SSA.

Methods: Using Stata version-14 software, the analysis was done on 89,029 married women from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 19 countries in SSA. Pearson Chi-Square test and Binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine the factors associated with anemia. The results were presented using adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) at a 95% Confidence Interval (CI). A p-value less than or equal to 0.05 (p ≤ 0.05) was considered statistically significant.

Results: The pooled analysis showed that 49.7% of married women were anemic. Of these, 1.04% and 15.05% were severely and moderately anemic respectively, and the rest 33.61% were mildly anemic. Husband education (primary school-aOR = 0.84, 95% CI; 0.71-0.99), wealth index (middle-aOR = 0.81, 95% CI; 0.68-0.96, richer-aOR = 0.69, 95% CI; 0.57-0.84, richest-aOR = 0.68, 95% CI; 0.51-0.91), modern contraceptive use (yes-aOR = 0.68, 95% CI; 0.56-0.81) and religion (Muslim-aOR = 1.27, 95% CI; 1.11-1.46, others-aOR = 0.73, 95% CI; 0.59-0.90) were factors associated with anemia among married women.

Conclusion: The findings show that nearly half of the married women are affected by anemia. Enhancing partners' educational levels, and economic empowerment of women, strengthening family planning services, and working with religious leaders to reduce the perception and religious beliefs related to food restrictions can be the main focus to reduce the burden of anemia among married women in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13690-021-00733-xDOI Listing
November 2021

Rural-urban variation in hypertension among women in Ghana: insights from a national survey.

BMC Public Health 2021 Nov 24;21(1):2150. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

Department of Population and Health, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Background: Hypertension is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular morbidities in Ghana and represents a major public health concern. There is dearth of information on the rural-urban disparity in hypertension among women in Ghana. Therefore, this study aimed at examining the rural-urban variation in hypertension among women in Ghana.

Methods: We extracted data from the women's file of the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. The sample included 9333 women aged 15-49 with complete data on hypertension. The analysis was done using Pearson Chi-square and binary logistic regression at 95% confidence interval. The results of the binary logistic regression were presented as Odds Ratios (ORs) and Adjusted Odds Ratios (AORs). Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: Hypertension prevalence among urban and rural residents were 9.5% and 5.1% respectively. Rural women had lower odds of hypertension [OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.52, 0.67] compared to urban women, however, this was insignificant in the adjusted model [aOR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.70, 1.00]. The propensity to be hypertensive was lower for women aged 15-19 [aOR = 0.07; 95% CI = 0.05, 0.11]. The poorest were less likely to be hypertensive [aOR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.45, 0.89]. Single women were also less probable to have hypertension [aOR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.46, 0.97].

Conclusions: Women from urban and rural areas shed similar chance to be hypertensive in Ghana. Therefore, the health sector needs to target women from both areas of residence (rural/urban) when designing their programmes that are intended to modify women's lifestyle in order to reduce their risks of hypertension. Other categories of women that need to be prioritised to avert hypertension are those who are heading towards the end of their reproductive age, richest women and the divorced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-12204-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8611890PMC
November 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic Worsening Gender Inequalities for Women and Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Front Glob Womens Health 2021 29;2:686984. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics-Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Pandemics such as COVID-19 have often resulted in international, national and sub-regional crises, with considerable inequities across many societies. With the already existing structural and socio-economic inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa, the stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and shutdowns across the sub-regional states could worsen and have a tremendous impact on vulnerable groups. Numerous studies across a variety of contexts have well-documented gender, and cultures on varied health outcomes. However, these have not been contextualized in sub-Saharan Africa in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This mini review discusses the ways by which COVID-19 has impacted the lives of girls and women across sub-Saharan Africa and the strategies that can help mitigate these challenges. The mini review specifically shares light on a wide array of dimensions where the inequities exist. These include the disproportionate areas affected by COVID-19; household inequities; educational inequalities; work/employment inequalities; disparities related to healthcare, sexual and reproductive health as well as housing inequities. Conclusively, the review accentuates the need for sub-Saharan African countries to adopt low-cost preventive measures such as discouraging mass gatherings (e.g., local community gatherings), and face masking with non-medical cloth like masks for the local populace as these are crucial in managing the spread of the virus among disproportionate women population. For localities with limited access to handwashing facilities, alternative strategies like alcohol-based hand rub solutions could be deployed. The complex interrelated disparities require a broad set of policy actions to lessen the current burden faced by many women in sub-Saharan Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgwh.2021.686984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8594039PMC
July 2021

Association between Attitude towards Wife Beating and Childhood Diarrhea: A Demographic and Health Survey-Based Study in 25 Sub-Saharan African Countries.

ScientificWorldJournal 2021 13;2021:4870994. Epub 2021 Nov 13.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: Childhood diarrhea remains a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Women empowerment reduces child mortality, and wife beating attitude is one of the indicators of women empowerment. There is a dearth of evidence about wife beating attitudes and childhood diarrhea in SSA. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the association between attitude towards wife beating and diarrhea among under-five children.

Methods: We used Demographic and Health Surveys from 25 countries in SSA that were conducted between 2010 and 2020. Using Stata version 14 software, we carried out the analysis on 153,864 children under five. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied, and the results were presented using adjusted odd ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: The pooled results show that 71.4% of married women disagreed with wife beating. About 20.5% of under-five children of married women had diarrhea. Childhood diarrhea varied from highest prevalence in Chad (27.9%) to the lowest prevalence in Sierra-Leone (8.5%). The study showed lower odds of diarrhea among children of married women who disagreed with wife beating (aOR = 0.66 95% CI; 0.54-0.80) compared to children of married women who agreed with wife beating. Moreover, the study results show that women's age (35-39 years-aOR = 0.48, 95% CI; 0.31-0.74, 40-44 years-aOR = 0.57, 95% CI; 0.35-0.93, 45-49 years-aOR = 0.35, 95% CI; 0.16-0.79) was negatively associated with childhood diarrhea, while husband's education (primary school-aOR = 1.36, 95% CI; 1.05-1.77), parity (ever born 3-4 children-aOR = 1.36, 95% CI; 1.09-1.70, and 5+ children-aOR = 1.56, 95% CI; 1.14-2.12), and religion (Muslim-aOR = 3.56, 95% CI; 1.44-8.83) were positively associated with diarrhea among under-five children.

Conclusions: The study shows association between women attitude towards wife beating and childhood diarrhea. Therefore, empowering women, especially young women by increasing awareness about domestic violence, their rights, and empowering them through education and economic advancement need to be considered in order to reduce childhood diarrhea. Moreover, fertility control or birth spacing and working closely with religious leaders are important factors to consider in reducing childhood diarrhea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/4870994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8605907PMC
November 2021

Determining Prevalence of Anemia and Its Associated Factors in Cameroon: A Multilevel Analysis.

Biomed Res Int 2021 3;2021:9912549. Epub 2021 Nov 3.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: Anemia constitutes a major public health concern, which is associated with maternal and perinatal mortality. In low- and middle-income countries, the burden of anemia is profoundly high. Cameroon, as one of the low- and middle-income countries, has a disproportionate anemia burden. Factors associated with anemia prevalence are largely unknown in Cameroon. Hence, we determined the prevalence of anemia and its individual/household and community-level factors among adult women in Cameroon.

Methods: We derived data from the 2018 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey for analysis in this study. Using the Stata version 14 software, univariate multilevel logistic regression analysis was used to select variables that had significant association with anemia at < 0.05. Statistically significant variables were included in a multivariable multilevel logistic regression modelling to examine their associations with anemia. Results were reported using adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with their respective 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: A total of 6,809 women aged 15-49 years were involved in this study with a mean age 30 ± 11.87 years. Approximately two-fifths of women were anemic. Of them, 0.8% were severely anemic, while 17.4% and 21.5% were moderately and mildly anemic, respectively. Current employment status (yes AOR = 0.77, 95% CI; 0.61-0.96) and parity (1-2 children AOR = 0.61, 95% CI; 0.44-0.86) were the main individual level factors associated with anemia, whereas region (Douala region AOR = 2.65, 95% CI; 1.61-4.36, North-West region AOR = 0.53, 95% CI; 0.28-0.99) was the community-level factor associated with anaemia.

Conclusion: Empowerment of women through employment opportunities as well as focusing special attention in region where high prevalence of anemia could be crucial to decrease the burden of anemia and related maternal and perinatal mortality in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/9912549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8580646PMC
November 2021

Individual-, household-, and community-level factors associated with pregnant married women's discriminatory attitude towards people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: A multicountry cross-sectional study.

Health Sci Rep 2021 Dec 27;4(4):e430. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

School of International Development and Global Studies University of Ottawa Ottawa Ontario Canada.

Background And Aims: Discriminatory attitude towards people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a major problem in the prevention and treatment of HIV in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). Understanding the multiple factors linked to discriminatory attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in SSA is necessary for developing appropriate interventions. This study aimed at investigating the individual, household, and community-level factors associated with pregnant married women's discriminatory attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: We used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 12 sub-Saharan African countries conducted between 2015 and 2019. Data on 17 065 pregnant married women were analyzed. Bivariate (chi-squared test) and multivariable multilevel logistic regression analyses were applied to investigate the factors associated with discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA. The results were reported as adjusted odds ratio (aOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: The mean age of participants was 31.2 ± 8.5. The prevalence of discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA was 36.2% (95% CI: 33.4%-39.1%). Individual/household-level factors associated with discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA were women's educational level (secondary school-aOR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.26-0.93), husband's educational level (higher education-aOR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.16-0.76), decision-making power (yes-aOR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.38-0.69), wife-beating attitude (disagreement with wife beating-aOR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.43-0.79), and religion (Muslim-aOR = 1.92, 95% CI: 1.22-3.04). Community socioeconomic status (medium-aOR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.41-0.93) was the only community-level factor associated with discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA.

Conclusion: More than one-third of pregnant married women in SSA had discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA. Women's educational level, husband's educational level, decision-making power, wife-beating attitude, religion, and community socio-economic status were associated with discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA. To lessen the prevalence of discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA, considering these significant factors is needed. Therefore, governments and other stakeholders in the respective countries need to increase education coverage. Moreover, empowering women through education and economy is crucial. Finally, working with religious leaders to increase awareness about HIV and discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA should also be a priority in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8549109PMC
December 2021

Health facility delivery among women of reproductive age in Nigeria: Does age at first birth matter?

PLoS One 2021 4;16(11):e0259250. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

School of Public Health University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: High maternal mortality ratio in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been linked to inadequate medical care for pregnant women due to limited health facility delivery utilization. Thus, this study, examined the association between age at first childbirth and health facility delivery among women of reproductive age in Nigeria.

Methods: The study used the most recent secondary dataset from Nigeria's Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted in 2018. Only women aged15-49 were considered for the study (N = 34,193). Bi-variate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the association between age at first birth and place of delivery. The results were presented as crude odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: The results showed that the prevalence of health facility deliveries was 41% in Nigeria. Women who had their first birth below age 20 [aOR = 0.82; 95%(CI = 0.74-0.90)] were less likely to give birth at health facilities compared to those who had their first birth at age 20 and above.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest the need to design interventions that will encourage women of reproductive age in Nigeria who are younger than 20 years to give birth in health facilities to avoid the risks of maternal complications associated with home delivery. Such interventions should include male involvement in antenatal care visits and the education of both partners and young women on the importance of health facility delivery.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0259250PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568178PMC
November 2021

Is improvement in indicators of women's empowerment associated with uptake of WHO recommended IPTp-SP levels in sub-Saharan Africa? A multilevel approach.

BMJ Open 2021 10 29;11(10):e047606. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Objectives: The global burden of malaria has reduced considerably; however, malaria in pregnancy remains a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where about 32 million pregnant women are at risk of acquiring malaria. The WHO has recommended that pregnant women in high malaria transmission locations, including SSA, have intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy with at least three doses of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of IPTp-SP uptake and associated individual-level, community-level and country-level predictors in SSA.

Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using recent Demographic and Health Surveys datasets of 20 SSA countries. A total of 96 765 women were included. Optimum uptake of IPTp-SP at most recent pregnancy was the outcome variable. We fitted three-level multilevel models: individual, community and country parameters at 95% credible interval.

Results: In all, 29.2% of the women had optimal IPTp-SP uptake ranging from 55.1% (in Zambia) to 6.9% (in Gambia). The study revealed a high likelihood of optimum IPTp-SP uptake among women with high knowledge (aOR=1.298, Crl 1.206 to 1.398) relative to women with low knowledge. Women in upper-middle-income countries were more than three times likely to have at least three IPTp-SP doses compared with those in low-income countries (aOR=3.268, Crl 2.392 to 4.098). We found that community (σ=1.999, Crl 1.088 to 2.231) and country (σ=1.853, Crl 1.213 to 2.831) level variations exist in optimal uptake of IPTp-SP. According to the intracluster correlation, 53.9% and 25.9% of the variation in optimum IPTp-SP uptake are correspondingly attributable to community-level and country-level factors.

Conclusions: The outcome of our study suggests that low-income SSA countries should increase budgetary allocation to maternal health, particularly for IPTp-SP interventions. IPTp-SP advocacy behavioural change communication strategies must focus on women with low knowledge, rural dwellers, married women and those who do not meet the minimum of eight antenatal care visits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559097PMC
October 2021

Does attitude towards wife beating determine infant feeding practices during diarrheal illness in sub-Saharan Africa?

Trop Med Health 2021 Oct 9;49(1):80. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background: Inappropriate feeding practices of children during illness remains a public health problem globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). One strategy to improve child health outcomes is through women empowerment-measured by wife beating attitude. However, the role of attitude towards wife beating in child feeding practices has not been comprehensively studied. Therefore, we investigated the association between women's attitude towards wife beating and child feeding practices during childhood diarrhea in 28 countries in SSA.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Demographic and Health Survey on 40,720 children under 5 years. Bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were applied to assess the association between women's attitude towards wife beating and child feeding practices. The results were presented using adjusted odds ratio (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: The pooled results showed that appropriate feeding practices during diarrheal illness among under-five children was 9.3% in SSA, varying from 0.4% in Burkina Faso to 21.1% in Kenya. Regarding regional coverage, the highest coverage was observed in Central Africa (9.3%) followed by East Africa (5.5%), Southern Africa (4.8%), and West Africa (4.2%). Women who disagreed with wife-beating practices had higher odds of proper child feeding practices during childhood diarrhea compared to those who justified wife-beating practices (aOR = 2.02, 95% CI; 1.17-3.48).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that women's disagreement with wife beating is strongly associated with proper child feeding practices during diarrheal illness in SSA. Proactive measures and interventions designed to change attitudes towards wife-beating practices are crucial to improving proper feeding practices in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00369-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8501539PMC
October 2021

Effects of antenatal care visits and health facility delivery on women's choice to circumcise their daughters in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from demographic and health surveys.

Int Health 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Background: This study examines the association between maternal healthcare service utilisation and circumcision of daughters in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Methods: This study is based on a cross-sectional study design that draws on analysis of pooled data from current demographic and health surveys conducted between 2010 and 2019 in 12 countries in SSA. Both bivariate and multivariable binary logistic regression models were employed.

Results: Mothers who had four or more antenatal care visits were less likely to circumcise their daughters compared with those who had zero to three visits. Mothers who delivered at a health facility were less likely to circumcise their daughters than those who delivered at home. With the covariates, circumcision of daughters increased with increasing maternal age but decreased with increasing wealth quintile and level of education. Girls born to married women and women who had been circumcised were more likely to be circumcised.

Conclusions: This study established an association between maternal healthcare service utilisation and circumcision of girls from birth to age 14 y in SSA. The findings highlight the need to strengthen policies that promote maternal healthcare service utilisation (antenatal care and health facility delivery) by integrating female genital mutilation (FGM) information and education in countries studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihab066DOI Listing
October 2021

Maternal and child factors associated with early initiation of breastfeeding in Chad: evidence from nationally representative cross-sectional data.

Int Health 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIB) is an inexpensive practice but has a substantial potential to reduce neonatal morbidity. Therefore, this study investigated the maternal and child-related factors associated with EIB and makes recommendations that could help improve the practice in Chad.

Methods: We used data from the children's recode file of the 2014-2015 Chad Demographic and Health Survey. A total of 3991 women ages 15-49 y who had last-born children in the 2 y preceding the survey were included in our study. The outcome variable for the study was EIB. Both descriptive (frequencies and percentages) and inferential (binary logistic regression) analyses were carried out. All results of the binary logistic analyses are presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: We found the prevalence of EIB in Chad to be 23.8%. In terms of maternal factors, the likelihood of EIB was high among non-working women (aOR 1.37 [95% CI 1.18 to 1.59]), the richest wealth quintile women (aOR 1.37 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.79]) and non-media-exposed women (aOR 1.58 [95% CI 1.24 to 2.02]) compared with working women, the poorest wealth quintile women and media-exposed women, respectively. EIB was lower among children whose mothers had one to three antenatal care visits (ANC; aOR 0.73 [95% CI 0.61 to 0.87]) and four or more ANC visits (aOR 0.80 [95% CI 0.66 to 0.97]) compared with those who had no ANC visits. With the child factors, EIB was higher among mothers of children who were smaller than average size at birth compared with those of larger than average birth size (aOR 1.47 [95% CI 1.24 to 1.74]). Mothers of children of fifth-order or more births compared with those of first-order births (aOR 1.51 [95% CI 1.07 to 2.12]) and those who were delivered through vaginal birth compared with those delivered through caesarean section (aOR 4.71 [95% CI 1.36 to 16.24]) were more likely to practice EIB.

Conclusions: Maternal and child-related factors play roles in EIB in Chad. Hence, it is important to consider these factors in maternal and neonatal health interventions. Such initiatives, including training of outreach health workers, health education, counselling sessions and awareness-raising activities on breastfeeding geared towards EIB should be undertaken. These should take into consideration the employment status, wealth quintile, exposure to mass media, size of the baby at birth, ANC visits, parity and delivery method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihab060DOI Listing
October 2021

Noncompliance with the WHO's Recommended Eight Antenatal Care Visits among Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multilevel Analysis.

Biomed Res Int 2021 17;2021:6696829. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a minimum of eight antenatal care (ANC) visits for positive pregnancy outcomes. This study examined the prevalence of noncompliance with 8+ ANCvisits and its associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Methods: We used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of eight countries in SSA. A pooled sample of 63,266 pregnant women aged 15-49 years who had given birth to children within 5 years prior to the surveys was included in this study. To examine the factors associated with noncompliance with ANC 8+ visits, multilevel binary logistic regression analysis was conducted, and the results were reported using odds radios at 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: The pooled prevalence of noncompliance with ANC 8+ visits was 92.3% (95% CI: 91.1%-93.3%) with the highest and lowest prevalence in Zambia (98.7%, 95% CI: 98.3%-99.1%) and Libya (73.4%, 95% CI: 70.4%-76.2%), respectively. With the individual level factors, women's age (44-49 years-aOR = 0.33, 9% CI: 0.14-0.78), health insurance registration, (yes-aOR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.29-0.98), and economic status (richest-aOR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.05-0.49) were negatively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visits, while parity (five or more children-aOR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.12-2.52) was positively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visit. With the community level factors, community level literacy was negatively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visit (high-aOR = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.32-0.99).

Conclusion: About eight out of ten pregnant women did not comply with the WHO's recommended minimum of eight ANC visits for positive pregnancy outcomes in SSA. Empowering the economic status of women , enhancing health insurance and education coverage, and giving more attention to young pregnant women and those with more children are crucial for improving the coverage of ANC 8+ visits in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6696829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8476249PMC
September 2021

Do women empowerment indicators predict receipt of quality antenatal care in Cameroon? Evidence from a nationwide survey.

BMC Womens Health 2021 09 28;21(1):343. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Canada.

Background: World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends quality antenatal care (ANC) for all pregnant women, as one of the strategies for achieving targets 3.1 and 3.2 of the sustainable development goals. Maternal mortality ratio remains high in Cameroon (782 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births). Extant literature suggest a positive association between women empowerment indicators and maternal healthcare utilisation in general. In Cameroon, this association has not received scholarly attention. To fill this knowledge gap, we investigated the association between women empowerment indicators and quality ANC in Cameroon.

Methods: Data of 4615 women of reproductive age were analysed from the women's file of the 2018 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey. Quality ANC (measured by six indicators) was the outcome of interest. Binary Logistic Regression was conducted. All results of the Binary Logistic Regression analysis were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All analyses were done using Stata version 14.

Results: In all, 13.5% of the respondents received quality ANC. Women with low knowledge level (aOR = 0.66, CI 0.45, 0.98) had a lesser likelihood of receiving quality ANC compared to those with medium knowledge level. Women who highly approved wife beating (aOR = 0.54, CI 0.35, 0.83) had lesser odds of receiving quality ANC compared to those with low approval of wife beating.

Conclusion: The study has pointed to the need for multifaceted approaches aimed at enhancing the knowledge base of women. The Ministry of Public Health should collaborate and intensify female's reproductive health education. The study suggests that women advocacy and maternal healthcare interventions in Cameroon must strive to identify women who approve of wife beating and motivate them to disapprove all forms of violence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-021-01487-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477481PMC
September 2021

Is quality maternal healthcare all about successful childbirth? Views of mothers in the Wa Municipality, Ghana.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(9):e0257401. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Faculty of Health, The Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Introduction: In spite of the countless initiatives of the Ghana government to improve the quality of maternal healthcare, Upper West Region still records poor childbirth outcomes. This study, therefore, explored women's perception of the quality of maternal healthcare they receive in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region of Ghana.

Materials And Methods: This is a qualitative cross-sectional study of 62 women who accessed maternal healthcare in the Wa Municipality of Ghana. We analysed the transcripts using the analytic inductive technique. An inter-coding technique (testing for inter-coding agreement) was employed. The iterative coding process resulted in a coding scheme with four main themes. We used peer-debriefing technique in ensuring credibility and trustworthiness.

Results: Logistics and equipment; referral service; empathic service delivery; inadequacy of care providers; affordability of service; satisfaction with services received; as well as experience and service delivery were the parameters used by the women in assessing quality maternity care. A number of gaps were reported in the healthcare system including limited healthcare providers, limited beds and inefficient referral system. Conversely, some of them reported that some healthcare providers offered empathetic healthcare. Contrary views were expressed with respect to satisfaction with maternity care.

Conclusion: Government and all stakeholders seeking to enhance quality of maternal health and accelerate the attainment of the third Sustainable Development Goal need to reconsider the financing of service delivery at health institutions. Indeed, our findings have illustrated that routine workshops on empathetic healthcare are required in efforts to increase the rate of facility-based childbirth, and thereby subside maternal mortality and all adverse pregnancy outcomes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0257401PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8443026PMC
September 2021

Contraception needs and pregnancy termination in sub-Saharan Africa: a multilevel analysis of demographic and health survey data.

Reprod Health 2021 Aug 28;18(1):177. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Population and Health, College of Humanities and Legal Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Background: Women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have a higher risk of unintended pregnancies that are more likely to be terminated, most of which are unsafe with associated complications. Unmet need for contraception is highest in SSA and exceeds the global average. This study investigates the association between unmet/met need for contraception and pregnancy termination SSA.

Methods: We used pooled data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted from January 2010 to December 2018 in 32 countries in SSA. Our study involved 265,505 women with diverse contraception needs and with complete data on all variables of interest. Multilevel logistic regression at 95% CI was used to investigate the association between individual and community level factors and pregnancy termination.

Results: We found an overall pregnancy termination rate of 16.27% ranging from 9.13% in Namibia to 38.68% in Gabon. Intriguingly, women with a met need for contraception were more likely to terminate a pregnancy [aOR = 1.11; 95% CI 1.07-1.96] than women with unmet needs. Women with secondary education were more likely to terminate a pregnancy as compared to those without education [aOR = 1.23; 95% CI 1.19-1.27]. With regards to age, we observed that every additional age increases the likelihood of terminating a pregnancy. At the contextual level, the women with female household heads were less likely to terminate a pregnancy [aOR = 0.95; 95% CI 0.92-0.97]. The least socio-economically disadvantaged women were less likely to terminate a pregnancy compared to the moderately and most socio-economically disadvantaged women.

Conclusions: Our study contributes towards the discussion on unmet/met need for contraception and pregnancy termination across SSA. Women with met need for contraception have higher odds of terminating a pregnancy. The underlying cause of this we argued could be poor adherence to the protocols of contraceptives or the reluctance of women to utilise contraceptives after experiencing a failure. Governments of SSA and non-governmental organisations need to take pragmatic steps to increase met needs for contraception and also utilise mass media to encourage women to adhere to the prescription of contraceptives in order to reduce the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01227-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8403371PMC
August 2021

Individual, community and societal correlates of insecticide treated net use among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa: a multi-level analysis.

BMC Public Health 2021 08 26;21(1):1592. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Malaria in pregnancy is a crucial public health concern due to the enormous risk it poses to maternal and newborn health. The World Health Organisation therefore recommends insecticide-treated net (ITN) for pregnant women. The world over, sub-Saharan Africa bears the highest prevalence of malaria and its associated complications. This study investigated the individual, community and society level factors associated with ITN use among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: The study was conducted with Demographic and Health Survey data of 21 sub-Saharan African countries. A total of 17,731 pregnant women who possessed ITN participated in the study. Descriptive computation of ITN use by survey country and socio-demographic characteristics was conducted. Further, five multi-level binary logistic regression models were fitted with MLwiN 3.05 package in STATA. The Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation procedure was used in estimating the parameters whilst the Bayesian Deviance Information Criterion was used for the model fitness test.

Results: On average, 74.2% pregnant women in SSA used ITN. The highest prevalence of ITN use occurred in Mali (83.7%) whilst the least usage occurred in Namibia (7%). Women aged 30-34 were more likely to use ITN compared with those aged 45-49 [aOR = 1.14; Crl = 1.07-1.50]. Poorest women were less probable to use ITN relative to richest women [aOR = 0.79; Crl = 0.70-0.89]. Compared to women who did not want their pregnancies at all, women who wanted their pregnancies [aOR = 1.06; Crl = 1.04-1.19] were more probable to use ITN. Women in male-headed households had higher likelihood of ITN use compared to those from female-headed households [aOR = 1.28; Crl = 1.19-1.39]. On the whole, 38.1% variation in ITN use was attributable to societal level factors whilst 20.9% variation was attributable to community level factors.

Conclusion: The study has revealed that in addition to individual level factors, community and society level factors affect ITN use in SSA. In as much as the study points towards the need to incorporate community and societal variations in ITN interventions, active involvement of men can yield better outcome for ITN utilisation interventions in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11635-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8394092PMC
August 2021

Family planning for urban slums in low- and middle-income countries: a scoping review of interventions/service delivery models and their impact.

Int J Equity Health 2021 08 19;20(1):186. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

Population Council, Accra, Ghana.

Background: Although evidence suggest that many slum dwellers in low- and middle-income countries have the most difficulty accessing family planning (FP) services, there are limited workable interventions/models for reaching slum communities with FP services. This review aimed to identify existing interventions and service delivery models for providing FP services in slums, and as well examine potential impact of such interventions and service delivery models in low- and middle-income settings.

Methods: We searched and retrieved relevant published studies on the topic from 2000 to 2020 from e-journals, health sources and six electronic databases (MEDLINE, Global Health, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science). Grey and relevant unpublished literature (e.g., technical reports) were also included. For inclusion, studies should have been published in a low- and middle-income country between 2000 and 2020. All study designs were included. Review articles, protocols or opinion pieces were excluded. Search results were screened for eligible articles and reports using a pre-defined criterion. Descriptive statistics and narrative syntheses were produced to summarize and report findings.

Results: The search of the e-journals, health sources and six electronic databases including grey literature and other unpublished materials produced 1,260 results. Following screening for title relevance, abstract and full text, nine eligible studies/reports remained. Six different types of FP service delivery models were identified: voucher schemes; married adolescent girls' club interventions; Willows home-based counselling and referral programme; static clinic and satellite clinics; franchised family planning clinics; and urban reproductive health initiatives. The urban reproductive health initiatives were the most dominant FP service delivery model targeting urban slums. As regards the impact of the service delivery models identified, the review showed that the identified interventions led to improved targeting of poor urban populations, improved efficiency in delivery of family planning service, high uptake or utilization of services, and improved quality of family planning services.

Conclusions: This review provides important insights into existing family planning service delivery models and their potential impact in improving access to FP services in poor urban slums. Further studies exploring the quality of care and associated sexual and reproductive health outcomes as a result of the uptake of these service delivery models are essential. Given that the studies were reported from only 9 countries, further studies are needed to advance knowledge on this topic in other low-middle income countries where slum populations continue to rise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01518-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8375135PMC
August 2021

Demographic and health surveys showed widening trends in polio immunisation inequalities in Guinea.

Acta Paediatr 2021 Dec 25;110(12):3334-3342. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Aim: This study examined trends in absolute and relative socio-economic, gender and geographical inequalities in the coverage of polio immunisation in Guinea, West Africa, from 1999 to 2016.

Methods: Data from the 1999, 2005 and 2012 Guinea Demographic and Health Survey and the 2016 Guinea Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey were analysed using the World Health Organization's health equity assessment toolkit. We disaggregated polio immunisation coverage using five equity stratifiers: household economic status, maternal educational level, place of residence, child's gender and region. The four summary measures used were the difference, ratio, population attributable risk and population attributable fraction. A 95% confidence interval (CI) was constructed around point estimates to measure statistical significance.

Results: A total of 4778 1-year-old children were included. Polio immunisation coverage in 1999, 2005, 2012 and 2016 were 43.4%, 50.7%, 51.2% and 38.6%, respectively. Socio-economic and geographical inequalities in polio immunisation favoured children with educated mothers who came from richer families living in urban areas. There were also differences in the eight regions over the 1999-2016 study period.

Conclusion: Targeting children from disadvantaged subgroups must be prioritised to ensure equitable immunisation services that help to eradicate polio in Guinea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.16076DOI Listing
December 2021

Prevalence and predictors of long-acting reversible contraceptive use among sexually active women in 26 sub-Saharan African countries.

Int Health 2021 Aug 18. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

John's Hopkins Centre for Communications Programs, 111 Market Place Suite 310 Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are associated with high efficacy rates and continuity of use. Based on the foregoing, we sought to examine the prevalence and factors associated with LARC use among sexually active women in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa(SSA).

Methods: Secondary data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 26 countries in SSA between January 2010 and December 2019 were pooled and analysed. A total of 56 067 sexually active women 15-49 y of age met the inclusion criteria. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to examine the association between selected factors and the use of LARCs in SSA. Results were presented as crude odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with statistical precision at <0.05.

Results: The prevalence of LARC use was 21.73%, ranging from 1.94% in Namibia to 54.96% in Benin. Sexually active women with secondary or higher education (aOR 1.19 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.08 to 1.32]), those cohabiting (aOR 1.25 [95% CI 1.06 to 1.47]) and those with four or more children (aOR 2.22 [95% CI 1.78 to 2.78]) were more likely to use LARCs compared with those without education, never married and with no biological child.

Conclusions: The use of LARCs in the 26 countries in SSA was relatively low. Hence, the identified contributory factors of LARC use should be tackled with appropriate interventions. These include continuous campaigns on the efficacy of LARCs in reducing unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality and morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihab053DOI Listing
August 2021

Individual and community-level factors associated with home birth: a mixed effects regression analysis of 2017-2018 Benin demographic and health survey.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2021 Aug 11;21(1):547. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Faculty of Health, School of Public Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Home birth is a common contributor to maternal and neonatal deaths particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We generally refer to home births as all births that occurred at the home setting. In Benin, home birth is phenomenal among some category of women. We therefore analysed individual and community-level factors influencing home birth in Benin.

Methods: Data was extracted from the 2017-2018 Benin Demographic and Health Survey females' file. The survey used stratified sampling technique to recruit 15,928 women aged 15-49. This study was restricted to 7758 women in their reproductive age who had complete data. The outcome variable was home birth among women. A mixed effect regression analysis was performed using 18 individual and community level explanatory variables. Alpha threshold was fixed at 0.05 confidence interval (CI). All analyses were done using STATA (v14.0). The results were presented in adjusted odds ratios (AORs).

Results: We found that 14% (n = 1099) of the respondents delivered at home. The odds of home births was high among cohabiting women compared with the married [AOR = 1.57, CI = 1.21-2.04] and women at parity 5 or more compared with those at parity 1-2 [AOR = 1.29, CI = 1.01-1.66]. The odds declined among the richest [AOR = 0.07, CI = 0.02-0.24], and those with formal education compared with those without formal education [AOR = 0.71, CI = 0.54-0.93]. Similarly, it was less probable for women whose partners had formal education relative to those whose partners had no formal education [AOR = 0.62, CI = 0.49-0.79]. The tendency of home birth was low for women who did not have problem in getting permission to seek medical care [AOR = 0.62, CI = 0.50-0.77], had access to mass media [AOR = 0.78, CI = 0.60-0.99], attained the recommended ANC visits [AOR = 0.33, CI = 0.18-0.63], belonged to a community of high literacy level [AOR = 0.24, CI = 0.14-0.41], and those from communities of high socio-economic status (SES) [AOR = 0.25, CI = 0.14-0.46].

Conclusion: The significant predictors of home birth are wealth status, education, marital status, parity, partner's education, access to mass media, getting permission to go for medical care, ANC visit, community literacy level and community SES. To achieve maternal and child health related goals including SDG 3 and 10, the government of Benin and all stakeholders must prioritise these factors in their quest to promote facility-based delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-04014-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8359262PMC
August 2021

Factors associated with healthcare seeking for childhood illnesses among mothers of children under five in Chad.

PLoS One 2021 5;16(8):e0254885. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Poor healthcare-seeking behaviour is a major contributing factor for increased morbidity and mortality among children in low- and middle-income countries. This study assessed the individual and community level factors associated with healthcare-seeking behaviour for childhood illnesses among mothers of children under five in Chad.

Methods: The study utilized data from the 2014-2015 Chad Demographic and Health Survey. A total of 5,693 mothers who reported that their children under five had either fever accompanied by cough or diarrhea or both within the two weeks preceding the survey were included in this study. The outcome variable for the study was healthcare-seeking behaviour for childhood illnesses. The data were analyzed using Stata version 14.2. Multilevel binary logistic regression model was employed due to the hierarchical nature of the dataset. Results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: Out of the 5,693 mothers who reported that their children under five had either fever accompanied by cough, diarrhea or both at any time in the 2 weeks preceding the survey, 79.6% recalled having sought treatment for their children's illnesses. In terms of the individual level factors, mothers who faced financial barriers to healthcare access were less likely to seek healthcare for childhood illnesses, relative to those who faced no financial barrier (aOR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.65-0.99). Mothers who reported that distance to the health facility was a barrier were less likely to seek healthcare for childhood illnesses, compared to those who faced no geographical barrier to healthcare access (aOR = 79, 95% CI = 0.65-0.95). Mothers who were cohabiting were less likely to seek healthcare for childhood illnesses compared to married mothers (aOR = 0.62 95% CI = 0.47-0.83). Lower odds of healthcare seeking for childhood illnesses was noted among mothers who did not listen to radio at all, relative to those who listened to radio at least once a week (aOR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.55-0.91). Mothers who mentioned that their children were larger than average size at birth had a lesser likelihood of seeking childhood healthcare, compared to those whose children were of average size (aOR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.66-0.95). We further noted that with the community level factors, mothers who lived in communities with medium literacy level were less likely to seek childhood healthcare than those in communities with high literacy (aOR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.53-0.99).

Conclusion: The study revealed that both individual (financial barriers to healthcare access, geographical barriers to healthcare access, marital status, frequency of listening to radio and size of children at birth) and community level factors (community level literacy) are associated with healthcare-seeking behaviour for childhood illnesses in Chad. The government of Chad, through multi-sectoral partnership, should strengthen health systems by removing financial and geographical barriers to healthcare access. Moreover, the government should create favourable conditions to improve the status of mothers and foster their overall socio-economic wellbeing and literacy through employment and education. Other interventions should include community sensitization of cohabiting mothers and mothers with children whose size at birth is large to seek healthcare for their children when they are ill. This can be done using radio as means of information dissemination.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254885PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8341616PMC
November 2021

A multilevel analysis of individual and contextual factors associated with the practice of safe disposal of children's faeces in sub-Saharan Africa.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(8):e0254774. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics-Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Background: Over the years, sanitation programs over the world have focused more on household sanitation, with limited attention towards the disposal of children's stools. This lack of attention could be due to the misconception that children's stools are harmless. The current study examined the individual and contextual predictors of safe disposal of children's faeces among women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Methods: The study used secondary data involving 128,096 mother-child pairs of under-five children from the current Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 15 sub-Saharan African countries from 2015 to 2018. Multilevel logistic analysis was used to assess the individual and contextual factors associated with the practice of safe disposal of children's faeces. We presented the results as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at a statistical significance of p< 0.05.

Results: The results show that 58.73% (57.79-59.68) of childbearing women in the 15 countries in SSA included in our study safely disposed off their children's stools. This varied from as high as 85.90% (84.57-87.14) in Rwanda to as low as 26.38% (24.01-28.91) in Chad. At the individual level, the practice of safe disposal of children's stools was more likely to occur among children aged 1, compared to those aged 0 [aOR = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.68-1.80] and those with diarrhoea compared to those without diarrhoea [aOR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.13-1.21]. Mothers with primary level of education [aOR = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.30-1.5], those aged 35-39 [aOR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.12-1.28], and those exposed to radio [aOR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.20-1.27] were more likely to practice safe disposal of children's stools. Conversely, the odds of safe disposal of children's stool were lower among mothers who were married [aOR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.69-0.80] and those who belonged to the Traditional African Religion [aOR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.51-0.80]. With the contextual factors, women with improved water [aOR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.10-1.16] and improved toilet facility [aOR = 5.75 95% CI: 5.55-5.95] had higher odds of safe disposal of children's stool. On the other hand, mothers who lived in households with 5 or more children [aOR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.86-0.93], those in rural areas [aOR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.82-0.89], and those who lived in Central Africa [aOR = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.18-0.21] were less likely to practice safe disposal of children's stools.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that between- and within-country contextual variations and commonalities need to be acknowledged in designing interventions to enhance safe disposal of children's faeces. Audio-visual education on safe faecal disposal among rural women and large households can help enhance safe disposal. In light of the strong association between safe stool disposal and improved latrine use in SSA, governments need to develop feasible and cost-effective strategies to increase the number of households with access to improved toilet facilities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254774PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328335PMC
November 2021

Maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa.

Int Breastfeed J 2021 07 19;16(1):55. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Population and Health, College of Humanities and Legal Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Background: The probability of not breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery (timely initiation of breastfeeding) is particularly pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we examined the maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We pooled data from 29 sub-Saharan African countries' Demographic and Health Surveys conducted from 2010 to 2018. A total of 60,038 childbearing women were included. Frequencies, percentages, and binary logistic regression analyses were carried out. Binary logistic regression was used to examine the maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding and the results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).  RESULTS: We found a prevalence of 55.81% of timely initiation of breastfeeding in the sub-region. The country with the highest prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding was Burundi (86.19%), whereas Guinea had the lowest prevalence (15.17%). The likelihood of timely initiation of breastfeeding was lower among married women, compared to never married women (aOR 0.91; 95% CI 0.85, 0.98); working women compared to non-working women (aOR 0.90; 95% CI 0.87, 0.93); women who watched television at least once a week, compared to those who never watched television (aOR 0.74; 95% CI 0.70, 0.78); women who delivered through caesarean section, compared to vaginal birth (aOR 0.30; 95% CI 0.27, 0.32); and those with multiple births, compared to those with single births (aOR 0.67; 95% CI 0.59, 0.76). Women who lived in Central Africa were less likely to initiate breastfeeding timely compared to those who lived in West Africa (aOR 0.80; 95% CI 0.75, 0.84).

Conclusions: The findings call for the need for a behavioural change communication programmes, targeted at timely initiation of breastfeeding, to reverse and close the timely initiation of breastfeeding gaps stratified by the maternal and child factors. Prioritising policies to enhance timely initiation of breastfeeding is needed, particularly among Cental African countries where timely initiation of breastfeeding remains a challenge. Sufficient supportive care, especially for mothers with multiple births and those who undergo caesarean section, is needed to resolve timely initiation of breastfeeding inequalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13006-021-00402-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287803PMC
July 2021

Individual/Household and Community-Level Factors Associated with Child Marriage in Mali: Evidence from Demographic and Health Survey.

Biomed Res Int 2021 22;2021:5529375. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: Child marriage is a major public health problem globally, and the prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan African countries, including Mali. There is a dearth of evidence about factors associated with child marriage in Mali. Hence, this studyaimed at investigating the individual/household and community-level factors associated with child marriage among women in Mali.

Methods: Using data from the 2018 Mali Demographic and Health Survey, analysis was done on 8,350 women aged 18-49 years. A Chi-square test was used to select candidate variables for the multilevel multivariable logistic regression models. Fixed effects results weree xpressed as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence intervals (CI). Stata version 14 software was used for the analysis.

Results: The results showed that 58.2% (95% CI; 56.3%-60.0%) and 20.3% (95%; 19.0%-21.6%) of women aged 18-49 years were married before their 18 and 15 birthday, respectively. Educational status of women (higher education: aOR = 0.25, 95% CI; 0.14-0.44), their partner's/husband's educational status (higher education: aOR = 0.64, 95% CI; 0.47-0.87), women's occupation (professional, technical, or managerial: aOR = 0.50, 95% CI; 0.33-0.77), family size (five and above: aOR = 1.16, 95% CI; 1.03-1.30), and ethnicity (Senoufo/Minianka: aOR = 0.73, 95% CI; 0.58-0.92) were the identified individual/household level factors associated with child marriage, whereas region (Mopti: aOR = 0.27, 95% CI; 0.19-0.39) was the community level factor associated with child marriage.

Conclusions: This study has revealed a high prevalence of child marriage in Mali. To reduce the magnitude of child marriage in Mali, enhancing policies and programs that promote education for both girls and boys, creating employment opportunities, improving the utilization of family planning services, and sensitizing girls and parents who live in regions such as Kayes on the negative effects of child marriage is essential. Moreover, working with community leaders so as to reduce child marriage in the Bambara ethnic communities would also be beneficial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/5529375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241519PMC
October 2021

Women empowerment and skilled birth attendance in sub-Saharan Africa: A multi-country analysis.

PLoS One 2021 7;16(7):e0254281. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Faculty of Health, School of Public Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Introduction: In 2017, the highest global maternal deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The WHO advocates that maternal deaths can be mitigated with the assistance of skilled birth attendants (SBAs) at childbirth. Women empowerment is also acknowledged as an enabling factor to women's functionality and healthcare utilisation including use of SBAs' services. Consequently, this study investigated the association between women empowerment and skilled birth attendance in SSA.

Materials And Methods: This study involved the analysis of secondary data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 29 countries conducted between January 1, 2010, and December 3, 2018. For this study, only women who had given birth in the five years prior to the surveys were included, which is 166,022. At 95% confidence interval, Binary Logistic Regression analyses were conducted and findings were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs).

Results: The overall prevalence of skilled birth attendance was 63.0%, with the lowest prevalence in Tanzania (13.8%) and highest in Rwanda (91.2%). Women who were empowered with high level of knowledge (aOR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.51, 1.71), high decision-making power (aOR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.15, 1.23), and low acceptance of wife beating had higher likelihood of skill birth attendance after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics. Women from rural areas had lesser likelihood (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.51-0.55) of skilled birth attendance compared to women from urban areas. Working women had a lesser likelihood of skilled birth attendance (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.88-0.94) as compared to those not working. Women with secondary (OR = 2.13, 95% CI = 2.03-2.22), or higher education (OR = 4.40, 95% CI = 3.81-5.07), and women in the richest wealth status (OR = 3.50, 95% CI = 3.29-3.73) had higher likelihood of skilled birth attendance.

Conclusion: These findings accentuate that going forward, successful skilled birth attendant interventions are the ones that can prioritise the empowerment of women.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254281PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263257PMC
November 2021

Utilization of deworming medication and its associated factors among pregnant married women in 26 sub-Saharan African countries: a multi-country analysis.

Trop Med Health 2021 Jun 30;49(1):53. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

School of International Development and Global Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, 120 University Private, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada.

Background: Deworming is one of the strategies to reduce the burden of anemia among pregnant women. Globally, pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa are more affected by anemia. Therefore, this study examined both the coverage and demographic, socioeconomic, and women empowerment-related factors associated with the utilization of deworming medication among pregnant married women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We used data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys of 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted between 2010 and 2019. Using Stata version-14 software, analysis was done on 168,910 pregnant married women. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the factors associated with the utilization of deworming medication. The results were presented using adjusted odds ratios (aORs) at 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: The pooled results showed that about 50.7% (95% CI 48.2-53.3%) of pregnant married women in the studied countries took deworming medications, and this varied from as high as 84.1% in Sierra Leone to as low as 2% in Angola. Regarding sub-regional coverage, the highest and lowest coverages were seen in East Africa (67.6%, 95% CI 66.0-69.1%) and West Africa (24.3%, 95% CI 22.4-26.4%) respectively. We found higher odds of utilization of deworming medication among older pregnant married women (aOR=1.93, 95% CI 1.32-2.84), women with educated husbands (aOR=1.40, 95% CI 1.11-1.77), wealthier women (aOR=3.12, 95% CI 1.95-4.99), women exposed to media (aOR=1.46, 95% CI 1.18-1.80), and those who had four or more antenatal care visits (aOR=1.51, 95% CI 1.24-1.83).

Conclusions: Enhancing women's education, disseminating information about maternal healthcare services through mass media, and ensuring that women from economically disadvantaged households benefit from national economic growth can be considered as deworming medication improvement strategies in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, providing more attention to adolescents or young pregnant women and increasing the number of antenatal care visits could be considered to increase deworming uptake among pregnant married women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41182-021-00343-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8247116PMC
June 2021

Trends in socio-economic, sex and geographic disparities in childhood underweight in Mauritania: evidence from Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (2007-2015).

Int Health 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

University of Parakou, Faculty of Medicine, Parakou, Benin.

Background: Underweight is one of the largest contributors to child morbidity and mortality and is considered to be the largest contributor to the global burden of diseases in low-and middle-income countries. In Mauritania, where one-fifth of children are underweight, there is a dearth of evidence on socio-economic, sex and geographic disparities in childhood underweight. As a result, this study aimed at investigating the socio-economic, sex and geographic disparities in childhood underweight in Mauritania.

Methods: Using the World Health Organization's (WHO) Health Equity Assessment Toolkit (HEAT) software, data from the Mauritania Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICSs) conducted between 2007 and 2015 were analysed. Childhood underweight was disaggregated by five equity stratifiers: education, wealth, residence, region and sex. In addition, absolute and relative inequality measures, namely difference (D), population attributable risk (PAR), ratio (R) and population attributable fraction (PAF) were calculated to understand inequalities from wider perspectives. Corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed to measure statistical significance.

Results: Substantial absolute and relative socio-economic, sex and geographic disparities in underweight were observed from 2007 to 2015. Children from the poorest households (PAR=-12.66 [95% CI -14.15 to -11.16]), those whose mothers were uneducated (PAF=-9.11 [95% CI -13.41 to -4.81]), those whose mothers were rural residents (R=1.52 [95% CI 1.37 to 1.68]), residents of HodhCharghy (PAF=-66.51 [95% CI -79.25 to -53.76]) and males (D=4.30 [95% CI 2.09 to 6.52]) experienced a higher burden of underweight. Education-related disparities decreased from 2007 to 2015. The urban-rural gap in underweight similarly decreased over time with the different measures showing slightly different reductions. Wealth-driven disparities decreased marginally from 2011 to 2015. The sex-based and regional disparities increased, at least on average, over the 8-y intersurvey period.

Conclusions: The burden of underweight was significantly higher among children from disadvantaged subpopulations, those with uneducated and poorest/poor mothers, those living in rural areas and those living in HodhCharghy. Special nutrition intervention and efforts focused on these deprived subpopulations are required to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality associated with underweight and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihab040DOI Listing
June 2021

Women's experiences and satisfaction with maternal referral service in Northern Ghana: A qualitative inquiry.

Midwifery 2021 Oct 9;101:103065. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:

Objective: To gain insights and improve existing referral structures with maternity care in Northern region of Ghana, this study explored the referral experiences and satisfaction of women.

Research Design: Twenty women referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital for maternal health conditions were interviewed along with three husdands of these women between January and April 2020. An interview guide was used in individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The transcripts were inductively coded using content analysis. The study was guided by the three delays model and the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality framework.

Findings: The study revealed seven key themes. These are women's involvement in referral decision; available health workers and care at the first facility; inadequate transportation; communication between facilities; quality of care at the receiving hospital; worth the time and money; and women's companions during referral. While several women acknowledged and appreciated the care and emotional support they received in the hospitals they first presented to, some women reported poor attitudes of healthcare providers. Most women acknowledged that there was no communication between the facilities for the referral. A woman's socioeconomic status appeared to determine the respect and support she received from healthcare providers.

Key Conclusions: To ensure a responsive and efficient referral service, the central government of Ghana should commit to ensuring that each district hospital has at least one ambulance for effective emergency transportation. Career progression opportunities need to be explored for health workers in northern Ghana to attract and retain more professionals. To prevent abuse and ensure empathetic and supportive care, testimonial videos may help health providers to assess the services they provide to women. During referral, inter-facility communication can be strengthened through effective supervision and dedicated mobile phones for communication between health facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2021.103065DOI Listing
October 2021

Which factors predict fertility intentions of married men and women? Results from the 2012 Niger Demographic and Health Survey.

PLoS One 2021 9;16(6):e0252281. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics-Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Introduction: Niger is the country with the highest total fertility rate in the world. In the present study, we investigated factors associated with the desire for more children among married men and women in Niger.

Materials And Methods: We utilised data from the 2012 Niger Demographic and Health Survey. The outcome variable for the study was fertility intentions. The data were analysed with Stata version 14.0. Both descriptive (frequencies and percentages) and inferential (binary logistic regression) analyses were carried out.

Results: Desire for more children was 97.2% and 87.2% among men and women respectively. Women aged 45-49 were less likely to desire more children, compared to those aged 25-39 [aOR = 0.13, CI = 0.11-0.16]. The odds of desire for more children were high in rural areas, compared to urban areas [aOR = 1.61, CI = 1.20-2.17]. Childbearing women with seven or more births were less likely to desire more children, compared to those with 1-3 births [aOR = 0.09, CI = 0.06-0.14]. Men aged 50-59 were less likely to desire more children, compared to those aged 25-39 [aOR = 0.13, CI = 0.05-0.35]. Men with secondary/higher level of education were less likely to desire more children, compared to those with no formal education [aOR = 0.24, CI = 0.11-0.52]. Childbearing men with seven or more births were less likely to desire more children, compared to those with 1-3 births [aOR = 0.06, CI = 0.01-0.30].

Conclusion: This study shows high fertility desire among men and women in Niger. However, the prevalence of fertility desire among men is higher than that of women. A number of socio-economic and demographic factors were found to be associated with desire for more children among men and women in Niger. This calls for a collective effort to educate women and men in Niger on the negative consequences of rapid population growth and large family sizes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252281PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189508PMC
October 2021
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