Systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between dimensions of inequality and a selection of indicators of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH)

Adeyinka E. Adegbosin, Hong Zhou, Sen Wang, Bela Stantic, Jing Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background Globally, progress in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) has been inconsistent, with several evidence showing both between and within country disparities in several RMNCH outcome measures. In this study, we aim to meta-analyse existing literature on association between three major equity stratifiers and a selection of RMNCH indicators. 
Methods We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus databases and grey literatures from the WHO, UNICEF and World Bank publications. Using the PRISMA guidelines, we identified and reviewed studies from low and middle-income countries, that explored the effects of inequalities on RMNCH, with focus on studies that utilised data from a nationally representative survey. The review protocol was registered at the PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews. 
Results A total of 28 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Results revealed the existence of marked inequality based on income levels, education and place of residence. The most significant level of disparity was with regards to unmet need for contraception and antenatal coverage. For both respective indicators, those with secondary or higher education were 6 times more likely to have better coverage, than those with lesser level of education; (odds ratio (OR) = 6.25 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.68-23.23; I2 = 98%, P = 0.006) and (OR = 6.17 (95% CI = 3.03-12.56; I2 = 97%, P < 0.00001) respectively. In contrast, the lowest inequality was in the completion of 3 doses of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccines (DPT3), those with primary or no education, were equally as likely as those with secondary or higher education to have received DPT3; (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 0.34-4.27; I2 = 96%, P = 0.77). 
Conclusions In developing countries, maternal and child health coverage remains highly inequitable and assess to maternal and child health services are governed by factors such as income, level of education, and place of residence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number010429
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Global Health
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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