Geographic Access and Maternal Health Services Utilization in Sélingué Health District, Mali

Moctar Tounkara, Oumar Sangho, Madeleine Beebe, Lillian Joyce Whiting-Collins, Rebecca R. Goins, Hannah C. Marker, Peter J. Winch, Seydou Doumbia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Maternal mortality is one of the main causes of death for women of childbearing age in Mali, and improving this outcome is slow, even in regions with relatively good geographic access to care. Disparities in maternal health services utilization can constitute a major obstacle in the reduction of maternal mortality in Mali and indicates a lack of equity in the Malian health system. Literature on maternal health inequity has explored structural and individual factors influencing outcomes but has not examined inequities in health facility distribution within districts with moderate geographic access. The purpose of this article is to examine disparities in education and geographic distance and how they affect utilization of maternal care within the Sélingué health district, a district with moderate geographic access to care, near Bamako, Mali. Methods: We conducted a cross sectional survey with cluster sampling in the Sélingué health district. Maternal health services characteristics and indicators were described. Association between dependent and independent variables was verified using Kendall’s tau-b correlation, Chi square, logistic regression with odds ratio and 95% confidence interval. Gini index and concentration curve were used to measure inequity. Results: Most respondents were 20 to 24 years old. Over 31% of our sample had some education, 65% completed at least four ANC visits, and 60.8% delivered at a health facility. Despite this evidence of healthcare access in Sélingué, disparities within the health district contribute to inadequate utilization among approximately 40% of the women in our sample. The concentration index demonstrated the impact of inequity in geographic access, comparing women residing near and far from the referral care facility. Conclusion: Maternal health services underutilization, within a district with moderate geographic access, indicates that deliberate attention should be paid to addressing geographic access even in such a district.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-657
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Antenatal care
  • Caesarian section
  • Geographic access
  • Inequity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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