Factors Associated With Antenatal Care Utilization among Unmarried Woman in Uganda
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The 2016 UDHS revealed that only 60 percent of the respondents were found to have attended four or more ANC visits as recommended by WHO. This indicates that Uganda has a gap as regards to the achievement of the sustainable development goal (SDG) 3, target 1 of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. This study aimed at understanding the major factors influencing utilizing ANC services among unmarried women aged 15-49 in Uganda. We used the 2016 UDHS female data set for women aged 15-49 years. We focused and analysed3 Findings on 20,880 women to whom a woman’s questionnaire was administered and responded to the question “Did you see anyone for ANC?”. The explanatory variables were; the age of the respondent, wealth status, woman’s education level, religion, parity, decision making, marital status, place of residence and the dependent variable was ANC utilization. Approximately, 94 percent of the respondents utilized ANC at least once during their pregnancy time and only 4 percent did not utilize ANC services at all. Age of the respondent, marital status, woman’s education level, place of residence, parity and decision making significantly predicted ANC utilization at bivariate analysis. Multivariate analysis results showed that being Catholic, aged between 25 – 34 years, not cohabiting and having health decisions jointly made with the respondent’s friends or family significantly predicted ANC utilization better. Interventions to improve ANC seeking behaviours of mothers should include sensitization of males enabling them understand the benefits of their wives and/or partners attending ANC services, adoption of mobile health services most especially in the rural areas where accessibility is a key challenge and encouragement of women to seek antenatal care services from which they can obtain information and advice regarding delivery and other pregnancy related issues. Target groups should include; cohabiting women, sole health decision makers, women affiliated to other religions other than Catholics other, those below 25 and above 35 years of age, less educated, higher parity women.