Delayed First Antenatal Care Visit by Pregnant Women: Correlates in a Zimbabwean Peri-Urban District
Objectives: The study sought to establish factors associated with delayed first visit for antenatal care by pregnant mothers in Seke district of Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe.
Methods: A 1:1 case control study design was employed. A case was a pregnant mother who presented for the first ANC visit after 16 weeks of conception (late booking). A control was a pregnant mother who presented for first ANC visit at 16 weeks of conception or earlier (early booking). Systematic sampling method was used to select cases and controls from the Health centre register. A total of 86 cases and 86 controls were interviewed.
Results: Three risk factors were found to be statistically significant and associated with coming late for first ANC visit. These are unavailability of daily ANC services had an odds of 2.2 (CI=0.15; 0.90), not attending ANC awareness campaigns with an odds of 0.5 (CI=0.28; 1.18), and not being involved in decision making on time and place of ANC visits with an odds of 1.9 (CI=1.06; 3.64).
Conclusion: The ANC services need to be provided daily even on weekends, more ANC awareness campaigns should be done to educate the community on ANC importance and the advantages of coming early for first ANC visit.
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