Factors affecting the utilization of antenatal care among married women of reproductive age in the rural Thatta, Pakistan: findings from a community-based case-control study

Aziz Ali, Sumera; Aziz Ali, Savera; Feroz, Anam; Saleem, Sarah; Fatmai, Zafar; Kadir, Muhammad Masood

There are differences in antenatal care (ANC) utilization between urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Although multiple factors have been studied affecting the utilization of general health care services, the effect of road network distance particularly on the utilization of ANC has not been assessed. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the association between road network distance from a health care facility and utilization of the ANC among women of reproductive age in Thatta Pakistan.

A community-based case-control study was conducted in district Thatta, Pakistan. Women who did not utilize ANC services during their last pregnancy were considered as cases, while controls were the women who utilized ANC services during their last pregnancy. Questions related to socio-demographic, access-related factors and utilization of ANC were asked from women. Road network distance was calculated from the women’s home to the health care facility providing ANC services. Logistic regression analysis was performed.

A total of 380 participants were interviewed in this study. Participants’ mean age and parity were 28 years (SD 5.65), and 3.5 (SD 2.6) respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that women living at a shorter distance of less than 5 km were 1.21 times likely to utilize ANC services [Adjusted OR. 1.21; 95% CI (0.49–2.99)]. Moreover, nulliparous women were 4.10 times likely to utilize antenatal care [Adjusted OR. 4.10; 95% CI (1.10–15.26)]. Similarly, women who had knowledge of antennal care were 6.60 times likely to utilize ANC services [Adjusted OR. 6.60; 95% CI (3.33–13.05)]. Women having electricity in their households were 3.15 times likely to utilize the ANC services [Adjusted OR. 3.11 95% CI (1.51–6.41)]. Women, living in well-constructed (Pakka) houses were 2.58 times likely to utilize the ANC services [Adjusted O.R: 2.58; 95% CI (1.15–5.82)].

Road network distance has no measurable impact on ANC utilization among married women in Thatta district, Pakistan. Nulliparous women having knowledge of ANC living in well-constructed houses equipped with electricity were found to be utilizers of ANC services. It is recommended that awareness and health education sessions should be arranged for pregnant women in rural Pakistan.

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Published Here
September 22, 2023


Road network distance, Antenatal care utilization, Rural Pakistan, Married women