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Prenatal care utilization in rural areas and urban areas of Haiti
Authors: Alexandre, P.K., G. Saint-Jean, L. Crandall, E. Fevrin
Source: Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica, 18(2):84-92
Topic(s): Maternal health
Service utilization
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: AUG 2005
Abstract: Objectives. This study is based on the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in Haiti. Using the DHS information on women aged 15 to 49 who had given birth during the three years preceding the survey interview, this study was intended to: (1) examine the determinants of the likelihood of the women using prenatal care in the rural areas and in the urban areas of the country and (2) for the women who made at least one prenatal care visit, examine the determinants of the number of prenatal visits in the rural areas and the urban areas. Methods. The multivariate analysis used logistic models to identify which factors explained the decision to seek prenatal care, and negative binomial models were used to determine how many prenatal visits were conducted by the subgroup of women who did make prenatal care visits. Results. Estimated at the mean values of the control variables, the expected probability of using prenatal care services in rural Haiti was 77.16%, compared to 85.83% in urban Haiti. Among users of prenatal care services, mothers in rural areas made an expected number of 3.78 prenatal care visits, compared to 5.06 visits for the women in urban areas. Conclusions. A substantial percentage of pregnant women have access to prenatal care services in Haiti, but mothers in rural areas who decided to seek care still fell slightly below the four visits recommended by the World Health Organization. The education levels of both mothers and their partners is a dominant predictor of prenatal care use. Longer travel times and greater distances to health centers in rural areas constituted barriers to repeated visits. Policymakers and health care providers need to take these findings into consideration as they decide on the delivery and management of health care services in Haiti.