Child Marriage and Maternal Health Care Service Utilization in Ethiopia
Annie Dude, University of Illinois at Chicago
Childhood marriage is a common experience in Ethiopia: 41% of women aged 20 – 24 in 2011 were married prior to age 18. Child marriage is associated with increased risk of infant and maternal mortality. One cause of poor perinatal outcomes could be decreased access to antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care from trained providers in health facilities. Using data from the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey, I show that women married prior to age 18 were significantly less likely to have had prenatal care from trained providers, to deliver in a hospital or health facility, to have their birth attended by a skilled provider, and to receive any postpartum care during their last pregnancy when compared to women married at age 18 or older. These results highlight one possible pathway linking child marriage to poorer reproductive health outcomes.