Assessment of Maternal Health Services: A Comparative Study of Urban and Rural Primary Health Facilities in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria

assessment of the maternity care services

Maternal health care services play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of women of reproductive age. These services encompass a range of preventive and curative measures aimed at reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. In Nigeria, the quality of maternal care has a significant impact on the utilization of health facilities, particularly in rural areas. This article explores a comparative study conducted in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, to assess the quality of maternal health services between urban and rural primary health facilities.

Understanding Maternal Health Services

Maternal health services encompass various population-based approaches, including behavior change and health communication. The objective is to keep pregnant women healthy throughout pregnancy, ensure safe deliveries, and support postnatal recovery. However, the quality of maternal care is often compromised due to operational management challenges and existing inequalities within and between developing countries.

assessment of the maternity care services

The Importance of Quality Care

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the significance of quality care in achieving positive health outcomes for mothers and their newborns. Quality care not only contributes to improved survival rates but also enhances patient satisfaction. The WHO’s vision is to provide quality care to every pregnant woman throughout the entire journey, from pregnancy to childbirth and the postnatal period.

Disparities in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the quality of antenatal care (ANC) services remains a challenge. Less than 5% of ANC users receive desirable quality services, with only one tenth receiving minimum acceptable quality. The place of residence, whether rural or urban, significantly influences the receipt of good quality antenatal care. Mothers in rural areas have lower odds of receiving desirable quality care compared to those in urban areas. This points to a disparity that needs to be addressed urgently.

Bridging the Gap

To address the issue of unacceptable maternal mortality rates, it is essential to focus on improving the quality of maternal health services. Policymakers need to identify effective quality strategies that complement existing initiatives to achieve the desired outcomes. This requires periodic assessments of the quality of care provided at all levels of healthcare. By conducting a comparative study in urban and rural communities of Kano State, valuable insights can be gained to guide interventions, make recommendations, and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.


Q: What are maternal health services?
A: Maternal health services encompass a range of preventive and curative measures aimed at ensuring the well-being of women of reproductive age. These services include antenatal care, safe delivery practices, and postnatal care.

Q: How does the quality of maternal care affect utilization?
A: The quality of maternal care directly impacts women’s decision to seek care. Positive experiences with healthcare providers and perceptions of quality care influence women’s choices when it comes to accessing maternal health services.

Q: What are the challenges in providing quality maternal health services in Nigeria?
A: In Nigeria, challenges include disparities between rural and urban areas, limited access to skilled delivery care in rural communities, and a lack of desirable quality services for antenatal care.


The assessment of maternal health services in urban and rural areas of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, is critical for improving the overall well-being of the population. By identifying areas that require improvement and implementing appropriate interventions, maternal morbidity and mortality rates can be reduced. Addressing the quality of care in healthcare facilities is a fundamental step towards achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s strive to ensure that every pregnant woman receives the quality care she deserves.

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