Reproductive health situation in Ethiopia: evidence from EDHS, 2005

A. Sathiya Susuman, University of the Western Cape

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 signaled a major breakthrough in the way governments and health professionals think about the reproductive health and rights of men and women. One of the most important factors influencing the reproductive health status of Ethiopians is poverty and second most populous country in sub Saharan Africa. The health problems of mothers and children are related to fertility and child birth. Data on ever married women aged 15-49 from the 2005 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey were analyzed to explore three dimensions of women’s position with their household; antenatal care, delivery care and accessing health services. Logistic regression models assessed the relationship of selected variables to receipt of skilled antenatal and delivery care. Findings show that 64 % of population has access to any type of potential health services. The maternal mortality rate, 673 per 100,000 live births and the infant mortality rate at 77 per 1,000 live births are among the highest in the world. Only 28 % of women receive antenatal care and skilled personnel attend only 7 % of births. Even though associations were not consistent across all indicators, spousal discussion of family planning was linked to an increased likelihood of receiving skilled antenatal care, delivery care and health services. Postnatal care is extremely low in Ethiopia. Many obstacles exist to the achievement of reproductive rights and reproductive health. Low status of women in Ethiopia underpins and often directly undermines utilization of reproductive health services. An appropriate monitoring and evaluation is needed. The strong association of women’s education with health care use highlights the need for efforts to increase girls’ schooling and alter perceptions of the value of skilled maternal health care. The reproductive health care is the major issue which determines the demographic goals of any couple.

Presented in Session 76: Reproductive Health Care in Developing Countries