Socio-demographic factors influencing utilization of Antenatal Care Services among pregnant women aged 15 to 49 years in Uganda
Nalule, Ritah Dominic
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Antenatal care is important to women because it helps them to prepare for delivery and understand warning signs during pregnancy and child birth. It reduces maternal and prenatal morbidity and mortality through detection and treatment of pregnancy related complications and identification of women and girls at the highest risk. It is estimated that 95 percent of the pregnant women made at least a visit however less than a half (48%) have been able to make it to the recommended minimum number of visits. Developing countries account for 99 percent of the global maternal deaths with sub-Saharan region alone accounting for 62percent despite the various measures and programs put forward to end this. This study used the 2016 UDHS dataset to investigate the social and demographic factors that influence the uptake/ utilization of ANC services among women aged 15-19 years in Uganda. The study analyzed the currently pregnant women using the Pearson‟s chi-square test at 95% confidence interval to come up with the conclusions. The overall antenatal care (ANC) utilization/visits 66.1 percent. ANC services utilization varied significantly by education level of the respondents, marital status of the respondents, and age of the respondent, number of living children, wealth index and residence. However, it did not significantly vary by religion after the Pearson‟s chi-square test at 5% significance. The study hypothesis of higher utilization of antenatal care services was true for lower education level, lower wealth index, respondents with at least a child and adult respondents aged 25-39 years. The study recommends that the government should intervene by making these ANC services more friendly to the adolescents and women not in union. More so, massive sensitization of the adolescent mothers and mothers not living their partners about the availability, and accessibility of ANC. Girls and women should be empowered to increase their say in marriage hence taking part in decision making for ANC utilization. Also, through the potential leaders such as the Village Health Teams (VHTs) to emphasize male involvement in ANC to increase the uptake.