Determinants of late antenatal care presentation in rural and peri-urban communities in South Africa: A cross-sectional study

Ebonwu, Joy; Mumbauer, Alexandra; Uys, Margot; Wainberg, Milton L.; Medina-Marino, Andrew

To investigate and compare determinates for delayed first presentation to antenatal care (ANC) services.

A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst pregnant women attending their first ANC visit in rural Capricorn District and peri-urban Tlokwe sub-district communities in South Africa. Data collection included questionnaires and medical record abstraction. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed factors associated with late ANC presentation.

We recruited 807 pregnant women. Of these, 51% of rural women and 28% of peri-urban women presented late for first ANC. Rural women were more likely to present late for first ANC (AOR = 2.65; 95% CI 1.98–3.55) and report barriers to accessing ANC services (P<0.0001). Late ANC presentation in rural communities was associated with being married (AOR = 2.36; 95% CI 1.33–4.19), employed (AOR = 1.90; 95% CI 1.03–3.50), <20 years of age (AOR = 2.19; 95% CI 1.10–4.37), and reporting an unplanned pregnancy (AOR = 2.21; 95% CI 1.40–3.50). Late presentation in peri-urban communities was associated with unplanned pregnancy (AOR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.01–2.74), being told to come back later to initiate ANC after presenting early (AOR 0.51; 95% CI 0.30–0.89) and being pregnant for the first time (AOR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.34–0.94)

Both rural and peri-urban women had high rates of late presentation for first ANC. However, women in the rural communities were more likely to present late. Unplanned pregnancy was an independent risk factor in both rural and peri-urban communities. Interventions around family planning, especially for adolescent girls and young women, are needed to improve early presentation for ANC.

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April 5, 2018