Few comprehensive services, unequal access: Capacities to deal with obstructed labor in 5 African countries
Kiersten Johnson, Macro International Inc.
In sub-Saharan Africa, one in 16 women dies in pregnancy or childbirth, while 1.4 million women experience near-miss events. There is therefore a need to examine the availability of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) and women’s access to it. The purpose of this analysis is to discern the availability of EmOC in a selection of African countries, and to describe barriers to health care that women face. Using SPA data, we assess the ability of facilities to provide the signal EmOC functions. We describe the regional differentials in the location of facilities that are capable of providing EmOC. Using DHS data, we describe the levels and differentials in respondents’ use of delivery services, knowledge of danger signs in pregnancy, and experience of problems in accessing health care. The results of this analysis will serve to pinpoint gaps and difficulties that stand in the way of the delivery of emergency obstetric services.