Factors influencing the utilization of late antenatal care services in rural areas: A case study of Kisoro District
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Kisoro is one of the remote districts of Uganda with high population growth rate. The district is located in the south western part of the country. The main objectives of the study were to determine ANC alternatives being undertaken in Kisoro, to determine factors influencing late attendance for ANC services and to establish the knowledge of mothers about the benefits of seeking ANC early. Data was collected using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The tools that were used for data collection were questionnaire, in-depth interviews and FGDs. Data was collected from ANC clients, ANC providers and women who were in their first to fourth trimester. The study established pregnant women and mothers were using ANC alternatives such as TBAs, traditional healers and herbs. As regards ANC late attendance, the study observed that demographic, social -cultural and behavioral barriers like female literacy; poverty, age of women, cultural beliefs, quality of care, availability of ANC alternatives and myths and misconceptions influenced the timing and utilization of ANC services. Characteristics of mothers in the area of study affect the decision to utilize antenatal care. The conclusions of the study was that; the intervention measures in place to improve women access and utilization of ANC services mainly address the supply side and ignore the demand side which makes the whole process fail to improve the situation on ground. The study recommended that, to improve the level of ANC utilization in Kisoro, there is need to train health workers on service delivery, community sensitization on the values of ANC, reduction on hospital/clinic charges, equipping and stocking of enough drugs.