Health Professionals, Population Density, and Adequate Antenatal Care in Nine Sub-Saharan African Countries

Elizabeth Boyle , University of Minnesota
Jasmine Ha, Australian National University
Pamela C. Banda, University of the Witwatersrand
Miriam King, University of Minnesota

While sustainable development goals call for at least 4.45 skilled health professionals per 1,000 population (WHO 2016), many sub-Saharan African regions fall below this standard. Health professional shortages are a barrier to achieving health goals, such as adequate antenatal care (ANC). This paper examines the relationship between urbanization, health professionals and ANC. We used nationally representative health survey data on ANC for children under five, taken from IPUMS DHS (Boyle et al. 2017), coupled with corresponding close-in-time census data on health professionals per capita (from IPUMS International) and Gridded Population of the World (GPW) data on population density. The DHS data were linked to the other sources using GIS information on the location of sample clusters, providing estimates of health professional availability at the second administrative level and population density within a 10-kilometer radius. The analysis includes Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia (N= 63,787).

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1