Communication: Key to Improving Maternal Health in Sub Saharan Africa


Gladys Muasya, Lydia Kusina


In sub Saharan Africa, approximately one woman dies every hour from pregnancy and childbirth related causes. These maternal deaths represent about 15% of all deaths of women aged between 15-49 years with some regions being more vulnerable than others (WHO, 2010). In Kenya, several measures have been put in place to tackle maternal health issues, however, the ratio of deaths still remain high. With all those interventions, it is important to note that access to maternal and childbirth care in healthcare facilities may not necessarily guarantee a solution to this problem. There is need to influence behavior change. This can be achieved through health communication which may be used to promote health and disease prevention strategies, create long term solutions and understanding among players in the health sector and the public. This systematic review paper explores the role of communication in maternal and child care among women of reproductive age from 15-49 years of age using journals published between 2001 and 2018 . Findings show that communication is largely intertwined with maternal and child care and policy makers should incorporate it as a core component to modify behavior and social change. The choice of media used is key, though many people may choose a medium without knowing its effectiveness. It is also important for health practitioners to embrace interpersonal communication with women seeking health care services from them in order to enhance behavior change on matters of maternal health. In addition, the crafting of health messages varies with the audience level of education and their pervious knowledge on maternal and child care.
Keywords: Antenatal Care, Health Service Utilization, Maternal Health, Beyond Zero Campaign, Skilled Birth Attendants and Health Communication


How to Cite
Kusina, G. M. L. (2022). Communication: Key to Improving Maternal Health in Sub Saharan Africa. African Multidisciplinary Journal of Research, 5(1). Retrieved from