Continuum of care for maternal, newborn, and child health in 17 sub-Saharan African countries

Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Aboagye, Richard, Okyere, Joshua, Budu, Eugene, and Yaya, Sanni (2022) Continuum of care for maternal, newborn, and child health in 17 sub-Saharan African countries. BMC Health Services Research, 22 (1). 1394.

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Background: Given the intricate relationship between mothers and their children with the continuum of care, it is quintessential for their healthcare and interventions to be enhanced through a continuum of care approach. We examined the factors associated with the continuum of care for maternal, newborn, and child health in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: Data for the study were pooled from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We extracted the data from the women’s files in all 17 countries. We included 15,359 married and cohabiting women with the most recent children aged 12–23 months at the time of the survey in the study. Multivariable multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the factors associated with continuum of care. Results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with their 95% confidence interval.

Results: Women whose partners had secondary or higher level of education [aOR = 1.52; 95%CI = 1.07, 2.16], those with health insurance [aOR = 1.64; 95%CI = 1.18, 2.30], those who decide alone on their healthcare [aOR = 1.38; 95%CI = 1.01, 1.89], those with joint healthcare decision [aOR = 1.33; 95%CI = 1.02, 1.74], those exposed to radio [aOR = 1.38; 95%CI = 1.06, 1.79], those who started antenatal care early [aOR = 1.88; 95%CI = 1.50, 2.36] and those in southern Africa [aOR = 7.02; 95%CI = 3.23, 15.27] had higher odds of completing the continuum of care.

Conclusion: We found that only 3.4% of women across the 17 sub-Saharan African countries included in this study completed all of the 11 maternal, newborn, and child health care interventions along the continuum of care. The factors that are associated with the maternal, newborn, and child health continuum of care include women’s autonomy in decision-making, partners’ level of education, health insurance coverage, early initiation of antenatal care, exposure to radio, and residing in Southern Africa. Problem with the distance to the facility lowered women’s odds of completing the continuum of care. Governments and departments of health services across sub-Saharan African countries must leverage the radio to disseminate critical messages about the need to complete the continuum of care. Much commitment must be made toward advancing the autonomy of women. Health insurance coverage would have to be extended to reach all women to facilitate the completion of the continuum of care.

Item ID: 77571
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6963
Keywords: Child Health, Continuum of Care, Maternal health, Sub-saharan Africa
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2023 02:29
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420499 Midwifery not elsewhere classified @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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