Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(3):184-189.

Underlying causes of underutilization of maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) services in Africa: A survey from Lagos State, Nigeria

Matsuoka S, Kawakatsu Y, Koga S, Ayeola N, Iwayemi V, Saito C, Murakami H, Hachiya M


Lagos State, Nigeria, Africa's largest city with an estimaed 21 million population, continues to face challenges in its attempts to reduce maternal mortality (555 deaths per 100,000 live births) and deaths of children under five (59 per 1,000 live births). These deaths are more common among women and children living in poverty, many of whom rarely utilize health services. This paper describes the trend in the use of maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) services in the State in the past decade and shows barriers to the use of the services. Significant improvement in the coverage of the services were not observed. We identified the following five types of barriers to the use of MNCH services: i) financial barriers, ii) physical barriers, iii) cognitive barriers, iv) organizational barriers, and v) psychological and socio-cultural barriers. To address these interrelated barriers, the Lagos State Ministry of Health should prioritize regular outreach health services including health promotion, and realize the current initiative for massive recruitment of health personnel and appropriate deployment of them.

KEYWORDS: health seeking behaviour, barriers to health services, qualitative study, Nigeria

DOI: 10.35772/ghm.2020.01012

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