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Household economic wealth management and antenatal care utilization among business women in the reproductive-age

Yuanxu Feng, Rolle Remi Ahuru, Muhammad Khalid Anser, Romanus Osabohien, Munir Ahmad, Akpojubaro Henry Efegbere

Abstract

We assessed the influence of wealth and selected socio-demographic characteristics on antenatal care (ANC) utilization among 900 women within the reproductive ages across eight rural communities in Delta State, Southern part of Nigeria.  Both descriptive and predictive analyses were undertaken. The characteristics of the women were presented with the use of simple proportion and frequency. The Chi-square test was used to examine the factors that were significantly associated with a minimum of eight antenatal care contacts. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine factors that explained a minimum of eight antenatal contacts. Women on the highest wealth quintile were 2.6 times more likely to meet the recommended number of 8 ANC visits (aOR: 2.6, 95% CI: 0.63-3.86). This finding has an implication for the free maternal care policy currently in operation in Delta State. It implies that the policy has not succeeded in redressing problems of financial barriers in access to maternal care. The lesson, therefore, is that the policy of free maternal care is not enough, but if the government desires to maximize the dividend from the policy, then it must go beyond absolving pregnant women of ANC charges to provide other form of supports. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[6]: 143-154).

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