by Ellie Qian
More than 54 million people globally have been infected with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), with rates of infection continuing to rise globally. Among the many implications of the pandemic on physical, social, and mental well-being, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health raised concerns about how COVID-19 could affect pregnant women’s place of delivery — a key maternal health service component that has a direct impact on pregnancy and newborn outcomes.
To assess the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s delivery patterns in Ethiopia, an analysis was conducted using data from the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) Ethiopia survey. The project is led by Dr. Linnea Zimmerman, Principal Investigator for the PMA Ethiopia project and Assistant Professor in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, and Drs. Solomon Shiferaw and Assefa Seme at Addis Ababa University. Results from this analysis showed that as of June 2020, at the national level, there was no difference in the proportion of women who delivered in a hospital. However, in urban areas where COVID-19 rates were highest, the proportion of women who delivered in lower-level health facilities significantly increased while deliveries in hospitals declined. …