Factors affecting continuity in attending antenatal care services among pregnant women in Chemba district

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Mzumbe University
Background: Maternal mortality has remained to be the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. In developing countries like Tanzania, the occurrence of maternal deaths has been linked with low level of attendance and utilization of skilled maternal health services like Antenatal Care (ANC) services. This is because some deaths among pregnant mothers could have been prevented if women early utilize skilled maternal health services especially ANC services. Objective: This study aimed to determine the factors affecting continuity in attending antenatal care services among pregnant women. Methodology: The study adopted a cross-sectional design. Data were collected from 384 conveniently selected respondents enrolled in 7 health facilities of Chemba. Questionnaire was used during data collection. SPSS version 17 was used for data analysis. Findings: The findings of this study indicated that description of ANC services from health care workers (HCW) (Harsh or irrelevant description of ANC by HCW to clients), awareness on the day to start ANC and awareness on the frequency in which a pregnant mother is supposed to attend ANC services are the client related hindrances for continuity of ANC attendance. Service providers related factors that hinder continuity of attendance to ANC include long waiting hours of ANC services, modality of counseling for HIV test and STI test, provision of ANC services by male health providers, provision of ANC services by younger health providers, and shortage of medicines and medical equipment. The socio-economic factors that hinder continuity of ANC attendance include low family monthly income, religion objections, lack of spouse’s escort to ANC, lack of spouse’s financial support, family responsibilities, existence of traditional birth attendants and long distance from ANC clinics. Conclusion: In respect to the findings of this study, planners and implementers should consider multiple factors such as client related factors, service providers’ related factors and socio-economic factors in order to enhance continuity of ANC attendance among pregnant mothers.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Public Administration and Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Masters of Health Systems Management of Mzumbe University.
Antenatal Care, Pregnant Women, Chemba District, Maternal mortality