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The magnitude and determinants of delayed initiation of antenatal care among pregnant women in Gambia; evidence from Gambia demographic and health survey data
Authors: Solomon Gedlu Nigatu and Tilahun Yemanu Birhan
Source: BMC Public Health, 23
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Health care utilization
Maternal health
Pregnancy outcomes
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2023
Abstract: Background: Despite gains throughout the 20th century, maternal health remains a major public health concern. Despite global efforts to enhance access to maternal and child healthcare services, women in low- and middle-income countries still have a high risk of dying during pregnancy and after birth. This study aimed to determine the magnitude and determinants of late antenatal care initiation among reproductive age women in Gambia. Method: Secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2019-20 Gambian demographic and health survey data. All reproductive age women who gave birth in the five years preceding the survey and who had an antenatal care visit for the last child were included in this study. The total weighted sample size analyzed was 5310. Due to the hierarchical nature of demographic and health survey data, a multi-level logistic regression model was performed to identify the individual and community level factors associated with delayed first antenatal care initiation. Result: In this study, the prevalence of delayed initiation of initial antenatal care was 56% ranged from 56 to 59%. Women with age 25–34 [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?0.77; 95% CI 0.67–0.89], 35–49 [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?0.77; 95% CI 0.65–0.90] and women reside in urban area [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?0.59; 95% CI 0.47–0.75] respectively had lower odds of delayed first antenatal care initiation. While women with unplanned pregnancy [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?1.60; 95% CI 1.37–1.84], no health insurance [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?1.78; 95% CI 1.14–2.76] and previous history of cesarean delivery [Adjusted Odds Ratio?=?1.50; 95% CI 1.10–2.07] had higher odds of delayed initiation of antenatal care. Conclusion: Despite the established advantages of early antenatal care initiation, this study revealed that late antenatal care initiation is still common in Gambia. Unplanned pregnancy, residence, health insurance, history of caesarian delivery, and age were significantly associated with delayed first antenatal care presentation. Therefore, focusing extra attention on these high-risk individuals could reduce delayed first antenatal care visit and this further minimizes maternal and fetal health concerns by recognizing and acting early.