Determinants of Women Access to Healthcare Services in Sub-Saharan Africa

Azuh Dominic1, Adeyemi Ogundipe1, *, Oluwatomisin Ogundipe1
1 Department of Economics, Development studies Covenant University, Ota, Ogum Nigeria

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© 2019 Dominic et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Department of Economics, Development Studies Covenant University, Ota, Ogum, Nigeria;



The study examined the socio-economic determinants of women access to healthcare services in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 1995-2015.


The study adopted the dynamic panel model and estimated it using the System Generalized Method of Moments in a bid to overcome the endogeneity problem inherent in the model of study.


The study harmonized the theoretical strands in the literature by describing the measure of access determinants as three main components; i. Health service availability, ii. Health service utilization and iii. Health service decision.


The indicators of health service availability such as community health workers, physicians, nurses and midwives and hospital beds improve women's access to healthcare facilities in Africa. Also, health service utilization indicators such as population density worsen the quality of healthcare services available to women while electricity access and private health expenditure enhance women’s access to quality healthcare delivery. Health service decision indicators such as female bank account ownership, female labour force participation, attainment of basic education and female household headship were important in enhancing women's access to healthcare facilities. Generally, women's health outcomes were more responsive to health service utilization; implying that service utilization is an important proof of healthcare access in Africa.

Keywords: Healthcare access, Socio-economic determinants, Sub-Saharan Africa, GMM, Endogeneity problem, Private health expenditure.