Factors Influencing Antenatal Care Attendance for the First Trimester
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The 2016 UDHS revealed that 29% of the respondents were found to have attended ANC in the first trimester as recommended by WHO. Early antenatal care is a critical opportunity for health providers to deliver care and support, and information, to pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy. However in developing countries like Uganda majority of women still suffer from unequal access to high-quality antenatal cares that help to ensure their health and well-being. The study was carried out to find out the factors influencing attendance of antenatal care in the first trimester among women aged 15-49 in Uganda. Analysis was carried out using data from the UDHS 2016 female data set for women aged between ages 15-49. The study focused on 9947 women that were considered to have responded to the QN “How many months pregnant were you when you first received ANC for this pregnancy?” The explanatory variables maternal age of the respondent, education level, parity, husband’s education, region, residence, marital status, employment and wealth status. The maternal age of the respondent, highest education level, parity, husband’s education and region were significantly associated to the attendance of antenatal care at first trimester. However, there was no significant relationship between residence, marital status, employment status and wealth status at bivariate analysis. At multivariate analysis results showed that attending secondary education, aged between 45-49, residing in the eastern region, higher parity of women, women with husbands that attended secondary education significantly predicted ANC attendance in the first trimester. The research recommends that the government should utilize media while sending behavioral change communication messages aimed at eliminating harmful cultural practices that do not motivate women from attending antenatal care in the first trimester. More so the maternal leave policy should be revised such that women who get pregnant are given maternal leave within the first two months of pregnancy. Eastern region should be given more priority as compared to other regions.