Principal Investigator: Zoe Matthews. Lead Organisation: University of Southampton
Co-investigators: Peter William Gething; Jane Cecelia Falkingham; Peter Michael Atkinson; Angela Baschieri; Francis Dodoo
Improving maternal health has been established as a key development priority in the Millennium Development Goals, along with the eradication of poverty. Ghana is a country with a high level of maternal mortality that is currently undergoing substantial efforts to scale up the provision of maternal health services. Exclusion from maternal health services in Ghana represents a serious constraint to the attainment of both better maternal health and lower infant mortality and is known to be driven partly by poor availability and physical inaccessibility of services.
The aim of this project is to quantify the spatial links between poverty and poor utilisation of maternal health services in Ghana. This project builds on previous work in a range of African countries which showed that individual and community characteristics alone do not go far towards explaining service use at childbirth, especially in West African countries. By investigating factors related to both physical accessibility and availability of health services, the research will facilitate an understanding of the effect of poverty on patterns of spatial variation in service use. The results will, for the first time, provide policymakers with spatially explicit explanations for exclusion from care throughout Ghana through nationwide maps of causative factors.