There has been a substantial improvement in reducing maternal mortality in the Sub-Saharan African region. The vast rural-urban gap in maternal health outcomes, however, is obscured by this average achievement. This study attempts to measure the contribution of identified risk factors to describe the average rural-urban difference in the use of antenatal care, health facilities for delivery, and health professional assistance at delivery.
To achieve this objective, we used descriptive analysis and Fairlie non-linear decomposition method to quantify covariates’ contribution in explaining the urban–rural difference in maternal healthcare services utilisation.
The study’s finding shows much difference between urban and rural areas in the use of maternal healthcare services. Socio-economic factors such as household wealth index, exposure to media, and educational level of women and their husbands/partners contributed the most in explaining the gap between urban and rural areas in healthcare services utilisation.
Interventions to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas in maternal healthcare services utilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa should be centred towards socio-economic empowerment. Government can enforce targeted awareness campaigns to encourage women in rural communities in Sub-Sharan Africa to take the opportunity and use the available maternal health care services to be at par with their counterparts in urban areas.