Background and Objective: The uptake of antenatal care (ANC) is generally poor and inadequate in many developing countries such as Nepal. The purpose of our study was to assess the utilization and associated factors of antenatal care uptake among rural women in Nepal. The study was carried out in two villages and surrounding areas of Kathmandu district in 2006. Sample and Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional study, which was conducted among 150 women of reproductive age who had delivered a live baby within the 24 months preceding the survey. All women were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Findings: Women were influenced by their mother-in-laws on whether or not to use ANC. Utilization of ANC was associated with many factors: women having their second or subsequent pregnancy, illiteracy; Tamang ethnicity, women whose husbands were farmers, and women who were farmers themselves (p<0.001). Younger women and those with secondary education were statistically more likely to have used ANC. Twenty-two percent of women did not receive ANC. Services offered during ANC included for most women supply of supplementary iron and folic acid tablets (95%) and checking of maternal weight (94%). Few women reported having received information on danger signs of pregnancy (27%), and 16% women had experienced health problems during their last pregnancy. Conclusion: The utilization of ANC (at least one visit in pregnancy) in our rural study was encouraging as it was higher than the national average, and even fewer women manage to get four ANC visits as recommended by the World Health Organization. The accessibility of ANC programs that incorporate an awareness-raising element to encourage pregnant women to attend may help improve ANC uptake.
Keywords: Utilization, Antenatal care, Prepartum Care, Rural Women, South Asia
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).