Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences
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Patterns of Antenatal Care Seeking Behavior in South East Nigeria: Exploring Relationship with Age, Education, and Socioeconomic Status

Author(s): Ijeoma L Okoronkwo, Chika C Odira, Ada C Nwaneri, Pat U Okpala, Christiana N Okafor

Background: Maternal and infant morbidity and mortality are major public health problems in Nigeria. Although it is well-known that appropriate antenatal care (ANC) is important in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, there is limited information on inequities on ANC seeking pattern among the pregnant women in Nigeria. Aim: The study was designed to explore inequities due to age, education, and socioeconomic status (SES) of women of childbearing age in seeking ANC services in Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: A household survey was conducted in 10 randomly selected villages in Nnewi, Anambra State, South-East Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect relevant data from 420 women of childbearing age from the villages. The effects of age, education, SES, and ANC seeking behavior were analyzed. Results: It was found that 61.4% (254/420) of the respondents attended ANC clinic at least 6times. Although most of the respondents sought ANC in formal health, a greater percentage utilized private hospitals/clinics more than public health facilities. Age (P < 0.01), educational level (P < 0.001), and SES (P < 0.01) had statistically significant effects on respondents’ antenatal clinic attendance and choice of facilities. The highest SES group was more likely to utilize teaching hospitals and private clinics than other SES groups. Conclusions: There were inequities due to SES, educational level, and age of respondents in the pattern of ANC seeking behavior. These inequities could negate the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs). Interventions that would address the inequities should be developed and implemented if the health-related MDGs are to be achieved.

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