Bangladesh has made remarkable progress towards reducing its maternal mortality rate (MMR) over the last two decades and is one of the few countries on track to achieving the MMR-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG-5A). However, the provision of universal access to reproductive healthcare (MDG-5B) and the utilization of maternal healthcare services (MHS) such as institutional delivery, which are crucial to the reduction of maternal mortality, are far behind the internationally agreed-upon target. Effective policymaking to promote the utilization of MHS can be greatly facilitated by the identification of the factors that hinder service uptake. In this study, we therefore aim to measure the prevalence of institutional delivery services and explore the factors associated with their utilization in Bangladesh.
Data for this study were extracted from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS, 2011); participants were 7,313 women between the ages of 15 and 49 years, selected from both urban and rural households. Data were analyzed using Chi-square analysis, and conditional logistic regression.
According to the findings, fewer than one in three women reported delivering at a health facility. The multivariable regression analysis showed that participants from rural areas were 46.9% less likely to have institutional deliveries compared to urban dwellers (OR = 0.531; p<0.001; 95%CI: 0.467–0.604), and participants aged between 30 and 49 years had a 23.6% higher prevalence of institutional delivery service utilization compared to those aged 15 to 29 years (OR = 1.236; p = 0.006; 95%CI: 1.062–1.437). Moreover, participants with higher educational attainment were about twice as likely to deliver at a standard health facility when compared to those without formal education (OR = 2.081; p<0.001; 95%CI: 1.650–2.624), and similarly, husbands with higher educational attainment exhibited an approximately 71% higher service utilization of institutional delivery facilities compared to those without formal education (OR = 1.709; p<0.001; 95%CI: 1.412–2.069). Wealth status was also a significant predictor of institutional delivery service use, with participants belonging to the highest economic stratum being more likely to receive skilled care compared to the lowest economic stratum (OR = 2.507; p<0.001; 95%CI: 2.118–2.968). In addition, results indicated that households of average economic class had a 27% higher level of institutional delivery service utilization compared to those of lower economic status (OR = 1.272; p = 0.011; 95%CI: 1.057–1.531). Furthermore, institutional health service use was 18% higher among participants who were aware of community clinical services compared to those who were hardly aware of these services (OR = 0.816; p = 0.012; 95%CI: 0.696–0.957). Lastly, the odds of utilizing delivery services was 1.553 times more likely for participants who use family planning compared to those who do not (p<0.001; 95%CI: 1.374–1.754), and 3.639 times more likely for those who receive antenatal care compared to those who do not (p<0.001; 95%CI: 3.074–4.308). These were found to be significant predictors of the choice of delivery services.