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Utilization of maternal health care services in post-conflict Nepal

Authors Bhandari TR, Sarma PS, Kutty VR

Received 16 June 2015

Accepted for publication 24 July 2015

Published 25 August 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 783—790


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Tulsi Ram Bhandari, Prabhakaran Sankara Sarma, Vellappillil Raman Kutty

Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Background: Despite a decade-long armed conflict in Nepal, the country made progress in reducing maternal mortality and is on its way to achieve the Millennium Development Goal Five. This study aimed to assess the degree of the utilization of maternal health care services during and after the armed conflict in Nepal.
Methods: This study is based on Nepal Demographic and Health Survey data 2006 and 2011. The units of analysis were women who had given birth to at least one child in the past 5 years preceding the survey. First, we compared the utilization of maternal health care services of 2006 with that of 2011. Second, we merged the two data sets and applied logistic regression to distinguish whether the utilization of maternal health care services had improved after the peace process 2006 was underway.
Results: In 2011, 85% of the women sought antenatal care at least once. Skilled health workers for delivery care assisted 36.1% of the women, and 46% of the women attended postnatal care visit at least once. These figures were 70%, 18.7%, and 16%, respectively, in 2006. Similarly, women were more likely to utilize antenatal care at least once (odds ratio [OR] =2.18, confidence interval [CI] =1.95–2.43), skilled care at birth (OR =2.58, CI =2.36–2.81), and postnatal care at least once (OR =4.13, CI =3.75–4.50) in 2011.
Conclusion: The utilization of maternal health care services tended to increase continuously during both the armed conflict and the post-conflict period in Nepal. However, the increasing proportion of the utilization was higher after the Comprehensive Peace Process Agreement 2006.

Keywords: antenatal care, armed conflict, Nepal, post-conflict, postnatal care, skilled care at birth

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