This retrospective study conducted in a nonprofit hospital in Ethiopia clearly shows that gender inequality persists in sub-Saharan Africa. The study collected data on 105,025 patients who used the services of the private hospital, between 2005 and 2015, where the cost of care has been supported externally since 2001.

More women (61.9%) than men were admitted overall, likely because the majority of services have to do with obstetric service. Excluding admissions for malaria, men used the hospital services for injuries and musculoskeletal diseases.
The frequency of admissions changed with age and gender. Female admissions prevailed in the reproductive age period (from 15 to 44 years of age) while male admissions prevailed in the younger and older age groups.

The trend did not change over the 11 years of the study. Gender difference in access to health services persist, especially in Africa’s poorest, most remote areas. However, the growing number of admissions in obstetrics is encouraging for a possible change in the current trend.