Socioeconomic inequalities in reproductive health care services across Sub-Saharan Africa. A systematic review and meta-analysis

Oluwasegun Jko Ogundele*, Milena Pavlova, Wim Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: Women in Sub-Saharan African experience socioeconomic barriers in the use of reproductive health care services. This paper analyzes the evidence on socioeconomic inequalities in reproductive health care utilization in Sub-Saharan Africa and identifies the variance in the estimates of these inequalities.

Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on socioeconomic inequalities in the use of reproductive health care services published between January 2008 and June 2019. We used meta-regression to identify heterogeneity sources in reproductive care services use.

Results: Twenty-two studies were included and they reported 305 estimates of the concentration index for different reproductive health care services. We grouped the services into ten categories of reproductive health care services. Socioeconomic status was associated with inequality in reproductive health care use and was on average high, with a pro-wealthy inequality magnitude of the concentration index of 0.202. The meta-analysis indicated that inequality was highest for skilled childbirth services with an average concentration index of 0.343. The average concentration index for family planning and components of antenatal care was 0.268 and 0.142 respectively. Random-effects meta-regression showed that the heterogeneity in reproductive health care use was explained by contextual differences between countries.

Conclusion: The magnitude of inequality in reproductive health care use varies with the type of service and the focus on skilled childbirth services through user fees removal appears to have fostered inequality. The one-size-fits-all approach to reproductive health care initiatives has ignored differences in reproductive health care needs and the ability to overcome use barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100536
Number of pages11
JournalSexual & Reproductive Healthcare
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • CHILD HEALTH
  • COUNTRIES
  • COVERAGE
  • EXEMPTIONS
  • FACILITY-BASED DELIVERY
  • Family planning
  • GHANA
  • IMPACT
  • INVERSE EQUITY HYPOTHESIS
  • Inequality
  • MATERNAL HEALTH
  • Maternal care
  • Meta-analysis
  • Meta-regression
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • USER FEES
  • NEWBORN

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