Inequalities in the Coverage and Quality of Prenatal Care in Peru, 2009-2019

Enríquez Canto


To describe the coverage of quality prenatal care and trends in inequality of care among pregnant women in Peru in the period 2009–2019.


Cross-sectional analysis, with data on prenatal care from the Demographic and Family Health Survey for the years 2009, 2014, and 2019. The number and quality of visits during pregnancy were considered. Absolute and relative measures of health inequality were calculated for stratified groups.


Coverage (number of prenatal visits) increased from 77.22% in 2009 to 87.52% in 2019. The relative gap by area of residence (between women in rural and urban areas) decreased from 15% (2009) to 3% (2019), while the percentage of pregnant women without access to quality visits decreased from 45.16% (2009) to 29.35% (2019). In terms of access to quality checkups, absolute inequality by wealth quintile was reduced by almost half, from 55.96% to 25.95%. However, in 2019, there was still a relative gap of 37% in favor of pregnant women with a university education, compared to pregnant women without schooling.


In Peru, inequality gaps in access to prenatal visits have been closing. However, the national data set conceals inequalities in quality care between populations. Inequality in access to quality care should be used as an indicator to monitor coverage of prenatal visits.

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