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Predictors of health facility childbirth among unmarried and married youth in Uganda

Agaba, Peninah; Magadi, Monica; Orton, Bev


Peninah Agaba

Monica Magadi

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Dr Bev Orton
Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology/ Academic Contact for Collaborative Provision


Background Uganda has a high maternal mortality rate combined with poor use of health facilities at childbirth among youth. Improved use of maternal health services by the youth would help reduce maternal deaths in the country. Predictors of use of health facilities at childbirth among unmarried compared to married youth aged 15–24 years in Uganda between 2006 and 2016 are examined. Methodology Binary logistic regression was conducted on the pooled data of the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys among youth who had given birth within five years before each survey. This analysis was among a sample of 764 unmarried, compared to 5,176 married youth aged 15–24 years. Results Overall, unmarried youth were more likely to have a childbirth within the health facilities (79.3%) compared to married youth (67.6%). Higher odds of use of health facilities at childbirth were observed among youth with at least secondary education (OR = 2.915, 95%CI = 1.747–4.865 for unmarried vs OR = 1.633, 95%CI = 1.348–1.979 for married) and frequent antenatal care of at least four visits (OR = 1.758, 95%CI = 1.153–2.681 for unmarried vs OR = 1.792, 95%CI = 1.573–2.042 for married). Results further showed that youth with parity two or more, those that resided in rural areas and those who were engaged in agriculture had reduced odds of the use of health facilities at childbirth. In addition, among married youth, the odds of using health facilities at childbirth were higher among those with at least middle wealth index, and those with frequent access to the newspapers (OR = 1.699, 95% CI = 1.162–2.486), radio (OR = 1.290, 95%CI = 1.091–1.525) and television (OR = 1.568, 95%CI = 1.149–2.138) compared to those with no access to each of the media, yet these were not significant among unmarried youth. Conclusion and recommendations Frequent use of antenatal care and higher education attainment were associated with increased chances of use of health facilities while higher parity, rural residence and being employed in the agriculture sector were negatively associated with use of health facilities at childbirth among both unmarried and married youth. To enhance use of health facilities among youth, there is a need to encourage frequent antenatal care use, especially for higher parity births and for rural residents, and design policies that will improve access to mass media, youth’s education level and their economic status.


Agaba, P., Magadi, M., & Orton, B. (2022). Predictors of health facility childbirth among unmarried and married youth in Uganda. PLoS ONE, 17(4), Article e0266657.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 24, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 7, 2022
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Deposit Date May 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 6, 2022
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 4
Article Number e0266657
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Copyright Statement
© 2022 Agaba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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