The Impact of Socio-demographic Variables on Maternal Healthcare Accessibility among Women of Reproductive Age in Zamfara State, Nigeria

Linus Akor

Department of Sociology, Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria.

Ugba Dajo *

Department of Sociology, Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria.

Helen Anthony-Ekpe

Department of Sociology, Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Nigeria's maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 814 per 100,000 live births starkly contrasts with developed countries, where the ratio is significantly lower at 1 in 4900. This places Nigerian women at a substantially higher risk, with a 1 in 22 chance of maternal death during pregnancy or childbirth. Access to quality maternal healthcare is severely hampered by various socio-demographic factors such as education, income, occupation, and geographical location. Zamfara State, in particular, ranks poorly on these indices, with the highest rates of out-of-school children and women lacking formal education, alongside a significant proportion of impoverished and vulnerable individuals. These socioeconomic challenges exacerbate barriers to maternal health services for women in Zamfara State. Addressing these underlying determinants is crucial for improving maternal health outcomes in the state. This study, focusing on women of reproductive age in Zamfara State, employed the Social Determinants of Health Theory to underscore that health outcomes are shaped by societal conditions and policies. The sample size of the study consisted of 382 respondents. Closed ended questionnaire was the major instrument of data collection. Data collected was analyzed quantitatively with aid of SPSS Version 20. Key findings emphasized that higher levels of education and income significantly enhance willingness and access to maternal healthcare services among women in Zamfara State. The study recommends enhancing healthcare infrastructure, improving transportation, and addressing security in high-risk areas. Tailored educational programs are crucial in Quranic education communities to dispel healthcare misconceptions. Governments and NGOs should create economic opportunities for women to ensure affordable healthcare and improve maternal health outcomes in Zamfara State.

Keywords: Education, health care services, maternal mortality, maternal mortality ratio, socio-demographic indices


How to Cite

Akor, Linus, Ugba Dajo, and Helen Anthony-Ekpe. 2024. “The Impact of Socio-Demographic Variables on Maternal Healthcare Accessibility Among Women of Reproductive Age in Zamfara State, Nigeria”. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology 42 (6):404-16. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajaees/2024/v42i62503.

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