Predictors for achieving adequate antenatal care visits during pregnancy: a cross-sectional study in rural Northwest Rwanda

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  • Theogene Dusingizimana
  • Thiagarajah Ramilan
  • Janet L. Weber
  • Per Ole Iversen
  • Mugabowindekwe, Maurice
  • Jeannine Ahishakiye
  • Louise Brough

BACKGROUND: Inadequate antenatal care (ANC) in low-income countries has been identified as a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcome. While many countries, including Rwanda, have near universal ANC coverage, a significant proportion of pregnant women do not achieve the recommended regimen of four ANC visits. The present study aimed to explore the factors associated with achieving the recommendation, with an emphasis on the distance from household to health facilities.

METHODS: A geo-referenced cross-sectional study was conducted in Rutsiro district, Western province of Rwanda with 360 randomly selected women. Multiple logistic regression analysis including adjusted odd ratio (aOR) were performed to identify factors associated with achieving the recommended four ANC visits.

RESULTS: The majority (65.3%) of women had less than four ANC visits during pregnancy. We found a significant and negative association between distance from household to health facility and achieving the recommended four ANC visits. As the distance increased by 1 km, the odds of achieving the four ANC visits decreased by 19% (aOR = 0.81, P = 0.024). The odds of achieving the recommended four ANC visits were nearly two times higher among mothers with secondary education compared with mothers with primary education or less (aOR = 1.90, P = 0.038). In addition, mothers who responded that their household members always seek health care when necessary had 1.7 times higher odds of achieving four ANC visits compared with those who responded as unable to seek health care (aOR = 1.7, P = 0.041). Furthermore, mothers from poor households had 2.1 times lower odds of achieving four ANC visits than mothers from slightly better-off households (aOR = 2.1, P = 0.028).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the present study suggest that, in Rutsiro district, travel distance to health facility, coupled with socio-economic constraints, including low education and poverty can make it difficult for pregnant women to achieve the recommended ANC regimen. Innovative strategies are needed to decrease distance by bringing ANC services closer to pregnant women and to enhance ANC seeking behaviour. Interventions should also focus on supporting women to attain at least secondary education level as well as to improve the household socioeconomic status of pregnant women, with a particular focus on women from poor households.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s).

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