Skip to main content
main-content

01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

Exploring the relationship between population density and maternal health coverage

Zeitschrift:
BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Michael Hanlon, Roy Burstein, Samuel H Masters, Raymond Zhang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-416) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Abstract

Background

Delivering health services to dense populations is more practical than to dispersed populations, other factors constant. This engenders the hypothesis that population density positively affects coverage rates of health services. This hypothesis has been tested indirectly for some services at a local level, but not at a national level.

Methods

We use cross-sectional data to conduct cross-country, OLS regressions at the national level to estimate the relationship between population density and maternal health coverage. We separately estimate the effect of two measures of density on three population-level coverage rates (6 tests in total). Our coverage indicators are the fraction of the maternal population completing four antenatal care visits and the utilization rates of both skilled birth attendants and in-facility delivery. The first density metric we use is the percentage of a population living in an urban area. The second metric, which we denote as a density score, is a relative ranking of countries by population density. The score’s calculation discounts a nation’s uninhabited territory under the assumption those areas are irrelevant to service delivery.

Results

We find significantly positive relationships between our maternal health indicators and density measures. On average, a one-unit increase in our density score is equivalent to a 0.2% increase in coverage rates.

Conclusions

Countries with dispersed populations face higher burdens to achieve multinational coverage targets such as the United Nations’ Millennial Development Goals.
Zusatzmaterial
Authors’ original file for figure 1
12913_2012_2289_MOESM1_ESM.tiff
Literatur
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2012

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012 Zur Ausgabe