Thriving beyond survival: Understanding utilization of perinatal health services as predictors of birth registration: A cross-sectional study

Jackson, Michelle; Duff, Putu; Kusumanigrum, Santi; Stark, Lindsay B.

There are an estimated 35 million unregistered children in Indonesia. To understand ways to best leverage existing health system-related resources and ensure greater protective measures for these vulnerable children, this study explores the predictive relationship between the utilization of perinatal health services and birth certificate ownership in two Indonesian provinces. This study employed a cross-sectional design with interviewer-administered household surveys to heads of households in West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara from May to July of 2013. The primary outcome of interest was birth certificate ownership among children under the age of 5 years old. Bivariate and multivariable regression analyses using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) considered a set of covariates that represented child and household socio-demographic characteristics along with health services utilization variables during pregnancy and post-pregnancy periods. 389 heads of households were interviewed, yielding data on a sample of 451 children under the age of 5. Fewer than 28% of children in this sample possessed a birth certificate. Nearly 57% (n = 259) of children were delivered in a clinical facility, though only 36% (n = 93) of these were legally registered. Of children born in the home (n = 194), registration dropped to 16% (n = 31). Adjusted analyses accounting for socio-demographic factors suggest that children born in a clinic facility (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.27, 4.33), hospital (AOR = 2.38, 95% CI: 1.12, 5.09), or in the presence of a skilled birth attendant (AOR = 2.35, 95% CI: 1.31, 4.23) were significantly more likely to be registered. Children whose mothers sought post-natal care were 2.99 times more likely to possess a birth certificate (AOR = 2.99, 95% CI: 1.1, 7.57). Pre-natal care was not associated with birth registration. These findings suggest that use of perinatal health services increases the likelihood of registering a child’s birth despite a lack of formal integration of vital registration with the health sector. Formally leveraging existing community-based health workers and perinatal services may serve to further increase registration rates in hard to reach areas of Indonesia.

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BMC International Health and Human Rights

More About This Work

Academic Units
Population and Family Health
BioMed Central
Published Here
January 20, 2015