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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-12

Determinants of institutional delivery in three North Indian states: Evidence from DLHS 4


Department of Pediatrics, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication22-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manas P Roy
Department of Pediatrics, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi - 400 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JDRNTRUHS.JDRNTRUHS_92_17

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  Abstract 


Background and Objective: Institutional delivery (ID) is considered pivotal for ensuring maternal and neonatal health. Emphasis has been put on the same in India repeatedly with aim to reduce mortality in this vulnerable group. The aim of the study is to find out the determinants of ID in north India.
Materials and Methods: Data for the ecological study were retrieved from District Level Household and Facility Survey 4 (2012-13) for 53 districts in three north Indian states, viz. Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. District wise proportion for ID and different demographic factors were considered along with Antenatal care service components. Regression was used to find out the determinants for higher rate of ID.
Results: Overall, 80% ID has been documented in the present survey in district level. Among different variables, consumption of 100 iron folic acid (IFA) tablets and higher parity were negatively associated with higher rate of ID (coefficient = - 0.692 and - 0.573, respectively), whereas uptake of three or more ANC visits was seen to be associated with it positively (coefficient = 0.422).
Conclusions: ANC visits, parity and consumption of IFA tablets are associated with higher rates of ID at district level in North India.

Keywords: ANC, DLHS 4, India, institutional delivery, maternal health


How to cite this article:
Roy MP. Determinants of institutional delivery in three North Indian states: Evidence from DLHS 4. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2018;7:8-12

How to cite this URL:
Roy MP. Determinants of institutional delivery in three North Indian states: Evidence from DLHS 4. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Apr 26];7:8-12. Available from: http://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2018/7/1/8/228156




  Introduction Top


India, with 47,000 maternal deaths per year, contributes to highest fraction of maternal mortality in the world. Despite a drop of 59% in maternal mortality ratio (MMR) since 1990, the country is unlikely to achieve the target set for Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015. With a MMR of 178/100,000, India suffers from its populous nature, inequity in socioeconomic status, poor healthcare services in government sector, and high out-of-pocket expenditure in private facilities.[1] Lack of access to and utilization of healthcare services for delivery are among the main reasons for the high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country.[2]

As evident from different part of the world, institutional delivery (ID) is a key factor in reducing maternal deaths.[3] In India, too, for averting maternal death, ID has been recognized as a strong pillar. Several mechanisms have been adopted for increasing ID including conditional cash transfer, free transport, zero expense delivery, and performance based incentives. Fact, over past few years, there has been remarkable increase in ID (39% in National Family Health Survey 3–73% in Coverage Evaluation Survey 2009).[4],[5] But, with 1 year to go for MDG timeline, it seems impossible to achieve the target on maternal death without improving ID further, coupled with challenges like state-level inequalities and decision making at district level.[6]

In India, women's religion, caste, education, parity, socioeconomic status, and type of family have earlier been correlated with health seeking behavior, including ID. In addition, profile of antenatal care (ANC) visits has also been implicated as the determinants of ID.[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] But most of the researches are community based and limited to particular block or district. There is dearth of analysis on a large scale. In this perspective, the present paper, ecological in nature, examined demographic factors and ANC service components related to ID in three north Indian states, based on data available from District Level Household Survey 4 (DLHS-4) (2012-13), a nationwide sample based household survey. A better understanding of these factors will help in achieving increase in utilization of healthcare services, thus reducing maternal deaths.


  Materials and Methods Top


The data used in this article were obtained through publicly available online resources. The datasets are available for public use with anonymity on the survey participants.

DLHS 4, conducted in 2012–13, covered 69335 women aged between 15 years and 45 years in these three states. They were asked about their socioeconomic background and care taken during ante, intra, and postnatal period. The present article considered only antenatal issues.

Keeping rate of ID as the dependent variable, six demographic factors available from DLHS 4 were considered.[12] DLHS is a periodic survey, conducted by International Institute of Population Science, Mumbai. Among independent variables, apart from client characteristics (mean age of girls at marriage, literacy, birth order), utilization of other health services like three ANC check-up, consumption of 100 IFA tablets and blood test for hemoglobin (Hb) were also taken into account. Linear regression was used to find out the factors related with ID at the district level. A total of 53 districts belonging to three north Indian states viz. Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh were examined. During data collection, most recent births to ever married women (which took place after 1 January, 2008) were considered.

Analysis

District was the unit for analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using PASW for Windows software (Version 19.0; SPSS Inc, Chicago). The confidence level was set at 95%. Bivariable analyses were conducted to assess the association between ID and sociodemographic variables. All independent variables were entered into multiple linear regression analysis and the final model was selected by a forward stepwise strategy.


  Results Top


[Table 1] shows the summary of ID and socioeconomic variables. ID in three states was 80%, with minimum at Mewat (51.2%) and maximum at Panchkula (94.1%). Mean literacy was 80.8%, with lowest at Mewat (68.5%) and highest at Hamirpur (90.4%). Mean age for girls at marriage ranged from 19.7 years at Mewat to 23.8 years at Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar, with a mean of 21.6 years for the region under study. Birth order three or more was seen in 18.8% of women, with highest at Mewat (43.3%) and lowest at Mandi (4.4%). At least three ANC was taken by 77% pregnant women, highest at Fategarh (92.6%) and lowest at Mewat (55.9%). Total 100 IFA tablets were consumed by 39% of women during pregnancy. Highest consumption was seen at Lahul and Spiti (90%) and lowest at Mewat (6%). Hemoglobin test was availed by 51.6% of pregnant ladies, maximum at Solan (91.5%) and minimum at Mewat (10.3%). The worst case scenario was found in Mewat in all aspects.
Table 1: Overview of district level indicators from district level household survey-4 (DLHS-4) for three North Indian states

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[Table 2] shows the result of simple linear regression, considering all 53 districts belonging to these three states of north India. ID was strongly and negatively associated with higher birth order and consumption of 100 IFA tablets. Three ANC visits were positively associated with ID. Rest variables were not significant at bivariate level. In forward regression analysis, these three independent variables were significantly related to ID [Table 3].
Table 2: Factors associated with institutional deliveries in districts of three north indian states

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Table 3: Factors associated with institutional delivery (ID) by the mothers on linear regression

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  Discussion Top


Overall, moderate ID (80%) was reported from these three states under consideration, though regional variation is evident. For example, Mewat is considered one of the most vulnerable districts in the country, as evident from previous studies. Higher proportion of rural population, illiteracy, high fertility, and low utilization of health services make this a common back bencher in all health parameters.[13],[14] This adds to lack of researches in this particular area. It is possible to identify several hypotheses that may explain the worse health at Mewat. A multilevel study involving individual, family, village, and district in this region is warranted in future.

A better coverage of ID has been reflected in the present analysis than national figure during CES 2009. A major credit for this goes to Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). In fact, state wise analysis proved that there is an upward trend at the latest survey. Haryana has documented modest rise to 77% from 63% while for HP (50.3% to 77.8%) and Punjab (60.3% to 82.7%), the difference is quite striking. No doubt, appointment of ASHA at community level has changed the trend of delivery in favor of hospitals. However, the success story is patchy as there is reduction in uptake of three or more ANC visits in all three states under discussion. (Haryana: from 68.6% to 44.8%, Punjab: from 73.4% to 57.7%, and HP: from 67.4% to 58.3%).

Compelling evidence was found that three or more ANC is related to higher proportion of ID. Pregnancy is often considered as a window of opportunity for healthcare providers to address upcoming delivery related issues. It is the time to win confidence of the clients. Use of ANC has been a known predictor for ID.[7],[8],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19] In other way, clients coming to regular ANC visits do already have faith in healthcare delivery system. Through more ANC visits, clients get more explanation to their queries and therefore, enhance possibility for ID. The healthcare provider should utilize this opportunity to build the rapport further.[20] Under JSY, conditional cash transfer has been introduced in the country to enhance number of such visits as well as ID. The finding suggests that it might be prudent to put more emphasize on ANC visits. The practice of not attending ID could be reversed through effective antenatal counseling during ANC visits.

A key finding of this study is effect of parity. Birth order was a strong predictor for ID in the present study, consistent with previous ones.[8],[9],[10],[16],[21] A primi woman is more likely to seek maternal healthcare services than multipara as there is perceived uncertainty and apprehension associated with first pregnancy.[22] But afterwards, the mother perceived pregnancy as a normal phenomenon and get confident about delivery at home.[16] Time and resource constrain in case of larger family might be another explanation.[11] A separate strategy could be designed to target multipara women for bringing them to hospital and motivate them for sterilization.

Surprisingly, that consumption of 100 IFA tablets was negatively associated with proportion of ID. It could be due to ecological fallacy. On the other hand, it could happen that those clients are already compliant to medical advices, thus being confident and reluctant towards ID. This finding has programmatic implication. Women consuming 100 IFA tablets should not be taken for granted for ID. Throughout the pregnancy, it gets clearer which clients are more prone for ID. On one hand, there is need to consolidate the success and to focus on the rest of the women for making them convinced for the same, on the other. Strengthening capacity of local health personnel, in terms of influencing clients for complete ANC package and ID, is pivotal in this regard.

Mother's education imparts strong influence on utilization of healthcare, as suggested by different studies.[7],[9],[10],[11],[12],[16] The finding is not replicated in present analysis. One reason for that could be the fact that overall literacy rate of the district was considered, not only mothers' one. It was hoped that an improved literacy of a district will also reflect that of mothers. Similarly, age at marriage, although important for ID in previous research, is not reflected here probably because of ecological nature of study.[23] Further research is warranted in this regard.

There is considerable diversity in the output after implementation of same program design throughout the country. This is influenced by availability, accessibility, cost, and quality of the services. Still, the findings call for stressing on complete ANC visits in the concerned states. For example, even after providing cash benefits and free amenities including transport, we are yet to reach the bench mark of 100% ID. In the long run, we need to see ANC as a cornerstone of ID, not a distinct target set for being achieved separately. Given the perceived idea of parallel mechanisms for different units of the same spectrum of ANC, we may need to revise the system where providing ANC is the responsibility of the sub-centre but conducting delivery falls to Primary Health Centre (PHC) and Community Health Centre (CHC), in terms of responsibility. A synchronized effort of streamlining the services would possibly see better outcomes in future.

Limitations

The study was limited to three states of north India. So, the findings may not be generalized for the whole country, considering its variety of context in different parts. Being an ecological one, the study lacks temporal relationship between variables. Many a factors like standard of living, mother's age, religion/caste, place of residence, distance to hospital were not taken into account. Better designed cross-sectional study would indicate the associations for ID more precisely.

Association between ANC and ID arises not because of a causal effect of ANC on the likelihood of ID. Pregnancy complication, as confounding factor, influences both the likelihood of ANC and the likelihood of ID.[9] Due consideration of this would have made the study better suited to the complex equation of ID.

On the other hand, evaluation of ID and its determinants with the latest available data is one of the strength of this study. Consequently, the results and interpretations presented in this article can provide support to the need for better antenatal coverage.


  Conclusion Top


From an ecological point of view, relationship of ID rate of districts was considered with some sociodemographic factors in this study. Higher birth order was seen to be associated with low ID rate indicating group of people who are yet to be convinced by healthcare delivery mechanism. Positive relation of three ANC with ID stresses again on emphasizing process of ANC instead of ID. Although key factors have been described here, how these findings could be used to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality would be matter of future research.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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