Gebreegziabher SB, Marrye SS, Kumssa TH, Merga KH, Feleke AK, Dare DJ, Hallström IK, Yimer SA, Shargie MB
Reprod Health 19 (1) 42 [2022-02-14; online 2022-02-14]
In many settings, health care service provision has been modified to managing COVID-19 cases, and this has been affecting the provision of maternal and child health services. The aim of this study was to assess trends in selected maternal and child health services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional data review was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April to May 2021. Routine health management information system database was reviewed from Addis Ababa Health Bureau for the period from July 2019 to March 2021 across all quarters. Proportion and mean with standard deviation were computed. T-test was used to assess statistically significant differences in services mean performance. Postnatal care visit, new contraceptives accepters, safe abortion care and number of under-5 years old children treated for pneumonia significantly decreased by 9.3% (p-value 0.04), 20.3% (p-value 0.004), 23.7% (p-value 0.01) and 77.2% (p-value < 0.001), respectively during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the previous 8 months' average performance. The trends in Antenatal care first visit, new contraceptive accepters, pentavalent-3 vaccination and under-five children treated for pneumonia began to decline in January to March 2020, a quarter when the COVID-19 pandemic began; with accelerated declines in April to June 2020 following national lockdown. The trends for the stated services began to increase during July-September 2020, the last quarter of national lockdown. Contraceptive accepters and pentavalent-1 vaccination continued to decline and showed no recovery until January-March 2021 when this study was completed. Most of the maternal and child health services performance declined following the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, and most of the services began recovering during July-September 2020, the last quarter of national lockdown. However, new and repeat contraceptive accepters and pentavalent-1 recipients continue to decline and show no recovery during end of the study period. Implementing COVID-19 prevention measures and assuring the community about the safety of service delivery is imperative to ensure continuity of the maternal and child health services. Regular monitoring and evaluation of services performance is required to identify slowly recovering services and respond to potentially volatile changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.