Factors affecting adolescents' utilization of antenatal services in Western Uganda.
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The study is an outcome of the analysis of data generated by AYA (2002) that examined ASRH behaviors in 24 districts of AYA operation in Uganda. It reviews information about the relationship between adolescents and their utilization of ANC services in LDCs given the structural, economical and wide spread cultural constraints. In order to achieve the stated objective, the study focused on the socioeconomic and demographic factors affecting ever use and number of visits to ANC centres. Literature was reviewed and pointed out the highly missing information on adolescent utilization of ANC in western Uganda despite the high proportion of adolescents to the whole proportion, the high maternal mortality rates .The study therefore adopted both descriptive and multivariate analysis to accumulate findings for western Uganda, the focus of the study. Out of the total 497 respondents interviewed in western Uganda, the study shows that majority of the respondents were rural dwellers (82.9%) with males being fewer than females (31.5%). By religion, Catholics dominated the study (49.5%) while primary pupils constituted the majority of respondents (61.4%). Rate of ANC use was estimated at 85%, only 43% of adolescents made the recommended 4 ANC visits. About 65% were satisfied with the ANC services, 10.9 % went for ANC for the first time in their third trimesters. There exists a significant relationship between ever use of ANC by sex, more females than males went for ANC, by district, Kyenjojo proved significant in both models). In the main analysis, increase in ANC utilization and number of visits was associated to district of origin, again Kyenjojo was significant in both models. More females than males utilized ANC services. As expected, the higher the levels of education, so was the level of ANC utilisation. The study therefore recommends that enrolment, especially for female adolescents to higher levels of education be vigilantly encouraged, so as to boost healthy uptake and also limit teenager pregnancies. Massive sensitization of the masses especially male spouses on the importance of ANC should be done to improve utilization by the married. There is also need to target key groups within adolescent projects (Young versus old, male versus female, in school versus out-of-school, respondents by residence and expensive but necessary ANC services be made more affordable.