Improvement in maternal and new born health in developing countries has been a major priority in public health since the 1980s. In spite of efforts to increase access to reproductive health services and reduce maternal mortality, maternal health is still poor in most developing countries. Globally, about 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications every day, and it was estimated that in 2015, roughly 303 000 women died during pregnancy and childbirth (World Health Organization, 2016). Unfortunately, almost all of these deaths (99%) occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented with adequate access to health care. Although, in sub-Saharan Africa, a number of countries halved their levels of maternal mortality since 1990, mortality rates for newborn babies have also been slow to decline compared with death rates for older infants. In this study we examine spatial variability in the distributions of women of reproductive age, pregnancies and births in three West African countries (Mali, Liberia and Guinea) with a high burden of maternal and neonatal deaths.
Dorothy Ononokpono is the 2018 Caldwell Fellow. Dorothy holds a doctorate degree in Demography and Population Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a lecturer in the department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Uyo, Nigeria. Her research interests span Reproductive health, Gender and Migration.
Bernard Baffour is a lecturer in the School of Demography. Bernard holds a PhD in Social Statistics from the University of Southampton. His main interests focus on the use of his methodological expertise in survey methods and the analysis of complex data. He has a diverse range of experience in working across a wide spectrum of areas from education, sociology, epidemiology, demography and operational research.