Timely Booking and Factors Associated with First Antenatal Care Attendance among Pregnant Women in Public Health Centers, Addis Ababa
Back ground: Antenatal Care (ANC) is the care given to pregnant women during pregnancy and it is one of the pillars of maternal health services. Adverse pregnancy outcomes can be minimized if antenatal care is received timely or early in the pregnancy, during the first 16 weeks of gestation for the first time and continued until delivery. The objective of this study was to assess the timely booking and the factors associated with the first ANC attendance among pregnant women in the public health centers in Addis Ababa.
Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional quantitative study design was conducted on 422 pregnant women from ten randomly selected health centers in Addis Ababa. Data were collected through a structured interview, and they were extracted from the record. The sample size was allocated proportional to the number of pregnant women attending ANC in each of the health centers. A timely booking for first ANC attendance during the first 16 weeks of gestation was an outcome variable. A logistic regressions analysis was employed to see the effect of the independent variables on the dependent variable.
Results: The proportion of pregnant women who timely booked for first ANC attendance was 110 (26.1%) and the rest (312(73.9%)) initiated during the late pregnancy period. Young pregnant women or <25 years old women (AOR=2.56, 95% CI: 0.11-3.72), being a government employee (AOR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.26-0.94), nulliparous pregnant women (AOR=1.36, 95% CI: 0.69-1.76) and knowledge of obstetric danger signs (AOR=2.13, 95% CI: 1.49-11.25) were statistically significant with timely booking for first ANC attendance.
Conclusion: According to the findings of this study, most of the pregnant women did not book for their first ANC attendance in a timely manner. The timely booking showed significant association with younger age (<25years), nulliparity and having knowledge of at least two obstetric danger signs. However, the mothers who were working in government institutions were less likely to book in a timely manner. Targeted health education is required for pregnant women, especially those who are older, primiparous and multiparous, and who do not know about obstetric danger signs, about the importance of timely booking for ANC and obstetric danger signs to escalate their awareness. The authors strongly suggest that all pregnant women who are working in government institutions should get official permission for ANC follow up. For a better understanding of the issues, the authors recommended a wide-ranging study that addresses all aspects of obstetric issues of pregnant women at all level of health facilities.
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