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Inequalities in utilisation of essential antenatal services for women with disabilities in Pakistan: analysis of a cross-sectional demographic and health survey of Pakistan 2017–2018
Authors: Waqas Hameed, Muhammad Asim, Sarah Saleem & Bilal Iqbal Avan
Source: BMJ Open, 13
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Health care utilization
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2023
Abstract: Objectives: Although the number of disabled women entering motherhood is growing, there is little quantitative evidence about the utilisation of essential antenatal care (ANC) services by women with disabilities. We examined inequalities in the use of essential ANC services between women with and without disabilities. Design, setting and analysis: A secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from recent Demographic and Health Survey of Pakistan 2017–2018 was performed using logistic regression. Participants: A total weighted sample of 6791 evermarried women (age 15–49) who had a live birth in the 5 years before the survey were included. Outcome measures: Utilisation of ANC: (A) antenatal coverage: (1) received ANC and (2) completed four or more ANC visits and (B) utilisation of essential components of ANC. Results: The percentage of women who were at risk of disability and those living with disability in one or more domains was 11.5% and 2.6%, respectively. The coverage of ANC did not differ by disability status. With utilisation of essential ANC components, consumption of iron was lower (adjusted OR, aOR=0.6; p<0.05), while advice on exclusive breast feeding (aOR=1.6; p<0.05) and urine test (aOR=1.7; p<0.05) was higher among women with disabilities as compared with their counterparts. Similarly, the odds of receiving advice on maintaining a balanced diet was higher (aOR=1.3; p<0.05) among women at risk of any disability as opposed to their counterparts. Differences were also found for these same indicators in subgroup analysis by wealth status (poor/non-poor) and place of residence (urban–rural). Conclusion: Our study did not find glaring inequalities in the utilisation of ANC services between women with disabilities and non-disabled women. This was true for urban versus rural residence and among the poor versus non-poor women. Some measures, however, should be made to improve medication compliance among women with disabilities