Factors associated with women’s first antenatal care visit in Uganda
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Background: Antenatal care refers to Pregnancy care received from skilled providers, such as doctors, nurses/ midwives, and medical assistants/clinical officers. (Ubos & ICF, 2018). Antenatal care plays an important role in ensuring a healthy mother and baby during pregnancy and after delivery. First timing of antenatal care visit is the first-time pregnant women come to clinics/hospitals to get care from health professionals. Its purpose is to know the health status of the mother and the fetus to estimate the gestational age and expected day of giving birth and to plan for next follow ups. Antenatal care programs are designed to maximize good health outcomes such as low maternal and neonatal mortality, low postpartum anemia, and appropriate birth weight. The first ANC timing is before 16weeks of gestation, second visit is between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation, 3rd visit is between 30 and 32 weeks of gestation and the fourth visit is between 36 and 38 weeks of gestation. ANC timely visits are crucial for early identification of pregnancy related problems and adverse pregnancy outcomes like obesity, low birth weight, still birth, and other complications and risks are made and appropriate referral or specialist case management recommended. Methods: The study involved quantitative analysis of Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) data of 2016. A total of weighted sample of 10073 women aged 15–49 were included in my analyses. I examined the association between timing of the first antenatal care visit and independent variables using binary logistic regression analysis. The results are presented using odds ratio (OR), with their respective confidence intervals (CIs) in table 4.2. Statistical significance is set at p < 0.05 in table. Results: Approximately 97% of women aged 15-49 years attended antenatal care. However, 29% of women had their first ANC visit in the first trimester. Most women who attend ANC are aged 20-24 and 25-29 that is (26.54% and 23.96%) respectively. Over 8 in 10 (80.07%) of the respondents are residing in rural areas and slightly half of the women (61.29%) attained primary level of education. About 40% of results presented in the table above out of the weighted sample of approximately 18506 women, 40.87% of women are Catholics, 44.56% are working in the agriculture sector however quarter of the women (24.71%) are in lowest wealth index and most of them are currently in union (82.18%). Conclusion: This study revealed the low uptake of timing of the first antenatal care visit in Uganda. To increase women’s’ utilization of antenatal care services and improve maternal and child health in Uganda, interventions should be targeted at women have attained education (primary and secondary education) who tend not to seek for ANC in the first trimester and great attention should be given to the women in rural areas. In addition, it is crucial that steps should be taken on educating women. This would have a significant influence on their perceptions about the use of antenatal care services in Uganda.