Female Education and Maternal Health Care Utilization in Uganda

Extensive literature suggests that female education is a very strong and consistent predictor of maternal health-seeking behaviour. A deeper understanding calls for an investigation of how female education affects this behaviour. It is argued that this relationship is not simply a reflection of a co-occurrence of education with other socioeconomic variables as different education levels have different predictions. Using the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey data, focusing on use of tetanus toxoid inoculations, antenatal care, and birth delivery assistance; under discrete-continuous estimation technique, this paper finds; first, a positive relationship between female schooling and health care seeking behaviour exists. Secondly, however, a number of factors, such as socioeconomic status, overestimate the impact of female education on health care-seeking behaviour; thus, the hypothesis that the relationship between female education and maternal health seeking behaviour might be as a result of other variables cannot be rejected. Thirdly, it is found that female education differentials on maternal health-seeking behaviour exist, with higher level education more pronounced. Thus, more focus should be put on increasing female education beyond secondary level in a bid to improve maternal health-seeking outcomes.