The Continuum of Care for Maternal and Newborn Health in South Asia: Determining the Gap and Its Implications
Soumya Alva, ICF Macro
Wenjuan Wang, ICF Macro
Marge Koblinsky, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research
There is increasing interest in understanding the determinants of maternal and newborn deaths across countries in order to plan interventions that can address them. The literature shows that the lack of appropriate care at all levels (pregnancy, birth and post delivery) – i.e. antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, and postnatal care - is associated with poor maternal and newborn health outcomes. Mortality for both mother and baby are highest immediately post delivery, particularly because many births take place at home without the care needed. This paper uses data from the most recent DHS in four South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan) to examine the use of maternal and neonatal health services along the continuum of care by women who had a birth in the last five years, whether she received all appropriate services, and the predictors of care received at each stage of the continuum of care.