Challenges in access and satisfaction with reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey

PLoS One. 2021 May 7;16(5):e0251382. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251382. eCollection 2021.


Background: The presence of COVID-19 has led to the disruption of health systems globally, including essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services. This study aimed to assess the challenges faced by women who used RMNCH services in Nigeria's epicentre, their satisfaction with care received during the COVID-19 pandemic and the factors associated with their satisfaction.

Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Lagos, southwest Nigeria among 1,241 women of reproductive age who had just received RMNCH services at one of twenty-two health facilities across the primary, secondary and tertiary tiers of health care. The respondents were selected via multi-stage sampling and face to face exit interviews were conducted by trained interviewers. Client satisfaction was assessed across four sub-scales: health care delivery, health facility, interpersonal aspects of care and access to services. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the relationship between personal characteristics and client satisfaction.

Results: About 43.51% of respondents had at least one challenge in accessing RMNCH services since the COVID-19 outbreak. Close to a third (31.91%) could not access service because they could not leave their houses during the lockdown and 18.13% could not access service because there was no transportation. The mean clients' satisfaction score among the respondents was 43.25 (SD: 6.28) out of a possible score of 57. Satisfaction scores for the interpersonal aspects of care were statistically significantly lower in the PHCs and general hospitals compared to teaching hospitals. Being over 30 years of age was significantly associated with an increased clients' satisfaction score (ß = 1.80, 95%CI: 1.10-2.50).

Conclusion: The COVID-19 lockdown posed challenges to accessing RMNCH services for a significant proportion of women surveyed. Although overall satisfaction with care was fairly high, there is a need to provide tailored COVID-19 sensitive inter-personal care to clients at all levels of care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Child Health Services*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Satisfaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Health Services*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.