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Factors influencing timing and frequency of antenatal care in Uganda

Author(s): Edward Bbaale

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 431;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Timing | frequency | antenatal care | Uganda

BackgroundOver 99% of mothers who die of complications related topregnancy and childbirth each year are found in developingcountries.3 In Uganda, maternal mortality is estimated at435 deaths per 100,000 live births. We sought tounderstand the factors influencing frequency and timing ofantenatal care in Uganda in order to inform policy on thekey aspects that need to be influenced.MethodWe used data from the Uganda Demographic and HealthSurvey (UDHS) 2006 and employed both descriptive andquantitative approaches (probit estimation). After a probitestimation, we generated marginal effects to interpret theresults as probabilities of utilisation of antenatal care givenparticular background characteristics.ResultsOn average, only 17% and 47% of mothers initiate the firstantenatal visit in the first trimester and attain at least fourantenatal visits, respectively. The timing and frequency ofantenatal visits were significantly associated with educationof the mother and her partner, wealth status, regionaldisparities, religious differences, access to media, maternalautonomy in taking a health decision, occupations of themother and her partner, timing of pregnancy, birthhistories, and birth order.ConclusionEfforts are needed to educate girls beyond secondary level,establishment village outreach clinics with qualified staff toattract the hard-to-reach women, and to ensure universalaccess to prenatal care services irrespective of the ability topay. Media penetration should also be increased amongstthe population and this channel can be used to disseminatea standard piece of information concerning what pregnantwomen should expect and do during the prenatal period.
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