Determination of antenantal visits in Uganda
Idha, Filbert Ajax
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This study investigates the determinants of number of antenatal visits among women in Uganda. Independent effects of predisposing, enabling and need factors were examined. The study used the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006 data set. Data analysis was carried out at three levels (univariate, bivariate and multivariate). A Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis test was used at bivariate level analysis while Poisson regression model was used at multivariate level to establish the relationship between the selected independent variables and the number of antenatal visits. The results show that the number of visits among rural women was low compared to urban counterparts. Educating women to a level beyond secondary level had a positive effect on number of antenatal visits unlike in their husbands where increasing education level was associated with fewer antenatal visits. Knowledge of pregnancy complications alone was not significant in increasing number of visits but women’s awareness of where to go in case of complication was significant. The lack of female health providers at the health facility significantly reduced the number of antenatal visits. Birth order of above 6 (threshold of 6) and exposure to television and radio (at least once a week) both significantly increased the number of visits to antenatal. However, experience of 1 or more child deaths previously significantly reduced antenatal visits. The findings of this study provide the insight that women and the girl child should be supported to progress beyond primary education level. For the majority of women who stop at primary level, awareness about the need for antenatal care should be taught as part of health education. More emphasis should be placed on telling women where to go to in case of complications than just awareness of symptoms and signs of pregnancy complications. More female health workers should be recruited to work at the antenatal clinics.