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Regional variations in the use of postnatal care in Nigeria: a spatial analysis.

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Maternal health outcomes vary considerably in Nigeria, with maternal mortality ratio ranging from 165 per 100,000 live births in the South-west to 1549 per 100,000 live births in the North-east. One important maternal health indicator is an adequate use of postnatal care (PNC); however, the evidence is sparse on its spatial distribution across regions in Nigeria. This paper thus examined the spatial distribution of uptake of postnatal care in Nigeria using data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, with a sample of 12,127 women aged 15-49 years. The Bayesian-structured additive regression of the logit model was used to examine the spatial relationships. The results revealed a north-south divide in the use of postnatal care, with higher PNC uptake established in the latter. Interestingly, results showed significant intra-region residual spatial variations with higher PNC use in Yobe and Bauchi in North-east Nigeria compared to other states within the region. The findings indicate the need for policymakers to develop state- and region-specific health policy and intervention programs to address the inequity in postnatal care coverage and usage across regions in Nigeria.

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