Impact of Recurrent Floods on the Utilization of Maternal and Newborn Healthcare in Bangladesh



Floods are one of the most common types of disasters in Bangladesh and lead to direct and indirect impacts on health. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of floods on Maternal and Newborn Healthcare (MNH) utilization in Bangladesh between the years 2011 and 2014.


We used variables from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2014 data and georeferenced data of floods between 2011 and 2014 from the Emergency Events Database. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine whether the flood-affected exposures were significant in predicting differences in MNH utilization.


The odds for the received antenatal care by skilled providers, institutional deliveries, deliveries by c-section, and postnatal care of the babies were significantly lower (Unadjusted OR = 0.81, 0.88, 0.83, and 0.82 respectively; P < 0.05) in the flood-affected area than the non-affected area. Additionally, the odds of postnatal checkup of women was statistically significant (P < 0.001) and less likely to be received in flood-affected area (OR = 0.76). The odds of all indicators were significantly lower (OR < 1) for the women living in the twice and four times flooded areas compared to the once flooded areas.

Conclusions for Practice

The study shows that floods can have a negative impact on MNH utilization. In addition, repeated floods have a worse impact on MNH utilization than incidental floods. Extra effort should be put on ensuring access to MNH of women in flood-affected areas.

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Correspondence to Abdul Baten.

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Baten, A., Wallemacq, P., van Loenhout, J.A.F. et al. Impact of Recurrent Floods on the Utilization of Maternal and Newborn Healthcare in Bangladesh. Matern Child Health J 24, 748–758 (2020).

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  • Bangladesh
  • Maternal
  • Newborn
  • Healthcare
  • Utilization
  • Flood-affected