The use of antenatal care in two rural districts of Upper West Region, Ghana

Collection UNKNOWN
Sumankuuro, Joshua ; Crockett, Judith ; Wang, Shaoyu (2017)
  • Publisher: Figshare
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185537
  • Subject: 240 community members | Biotechnology | health care services | Developmental Biology | 8 study communities | Infectious Diseases | Conclusion Greater understanding | ANC use | 24 focus groups | antenatal care | community-specific health education programs | 13 health care professionals | Cell Biology | BPCR | Methods Mixed methods approach | Upper West Region | Cancer | Science Policy | health care facility | maternity healthcare programmes
    mesheuropmc: hemic and lymphatic diseases

<div><p>Background</p><p>Despite decades of implementation of maternity healthcare programmes, including a focus on increasing the use of antenatal care (ANC) and concomitant birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR), the uptake of ANC continues to be below expectations in many developing countries. This has attendant implications for maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rates. Known barriers to ANC use include cost, distance to health care services and forces of various socio-cultural beliefs and practices. As part of a larger study on BPCR in rural Ghana, this paper reflects on the use of ANC in the study areas from rights-based and maternal engagement theoretical perspectives, with a focus on the barriers to ANC use.</p><p>Methods</p><p>Mixed methods approach was adopted to collect data from 8 study communities from individual in-depth interviews with 80 expectant mothers and 13 health care professionals, and 24 focus groups comprising 240 community members. The qualitative data followed a thematic analytical method, while the quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics.</p><p>Results</p><p>The average number of ANC visits were 3.34±1.292, and the majority of expectant mothers (71.3%) enrolled for ANC at the 8<sup>th</sup> week or later, with the longest delay recorded at the 6<sup>th</sup> month of gestation. Traditional norms significantly influenced this delay. Likewise, overall use of ANC during pregnancy was shaped by cultural factors related to perceptions of pregnancy, gender-based roles and responsibilities and concerns that ANC would result in an overweighed baby and culturally inappropriate delivery at a health care facility.</p><p>Conclusion</p><p>Greater understanding of the sociocultural barriers to ANC is essential if proposed changes in community-specific health education programs are to facilitate early commencement and increased use of ANC.</p></div>
Share - Bookmark

  • Download from
    figshare via figshare (Collection, 2017)
  • Cite this research product