BMJ Open: Home childbirth among young mothers aged 15-24 years in Nigeria

7 October, 2019

This new paper in BMJ Open find a very high prevalence of home births among youn mothers in Nigeria, especially in rural areas. One of the findings is: 'Young mothers who listened to radio services for less than once a week had 46% increased odds of home delivery compared with those who listened at least once in a week... The benefits of this finding need to be well explored by appropriately using radio services in behaviour change communication/health promotion targeted at adolescents and young mothers in Nigeria.'

CITATION: BMJ Open. 2019 Sep 18;9(9):e025494. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025494.

Home childbirth among young mothers aged 15-24 years in Nigeria: a national population-based cross-sectional study.

Adewuyi EO1,2, Khanal V3, Zhao Y4, David L5, Bamidele OD6, Auta A7.


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence and identify factors associated with home childbirth (delivery) among young mothers aged 15-24 years in Nigeria.

DESIGN: A secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).

SETTING: Nigeria.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 7543 young mothers aged 15-24 years.

OUTCOME MEASURE: Place of delivery.

RESULTS: The prevalence of home delivery among young mothers aged 15-24 years was 69.5% (95% CI 67.1% to 71.8%) in Nigeria - 78.9% (95%CI 76.3% to 81.2%) in rural and 43.9% (95%CI 38.5% to 49.5%, p<0.001) in urban Nigeria. Using the Andersen's behavioural model, increased odds of home delivery were associated with the two environmental factors: rural residence (adjusted OR, AOR: 1.39, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.85) and regions of residence (North-East: AOR: 1.97, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.34; North-West: AOR: 2.94, 95% CI 1.80 to 4.83; and South-South: AOR: 3.81, 95% CI 2.38 to 6.06). Three of the enabling factors (lack of health insurance: AOR: 2.34, 95% CI 1.16 to 4.71; difficulty with distance to healthcare facilities: AOR: 1.48, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.88; and <4 times antenatal attendance: AOR: 3.80, 95% CI 3.00 to 4.85) similarly increased the odds of home delivery. Lastly, six predisposing factors-lack of maternal and husband's education, poor wealth index, Islamic religion, high parity and low frequency of listening to radio-were associated with increased odds of home delivery.

CONCLUSIONS: Young mothers aged 15-24 years had a higher prevalence of home delivery than the national average for all women of reproductive age in Nigeria. Priority attention is required for young mothers in poor households, rural areas, North-East, North-West and South-South regions. Faith-based interventions, a youth-oriented antenatal care package, education of girls and access to health insurance coverage are recommended to speed up the reduction of home delivery among young mothers in Nigeria.


Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: