Variation in antenatal health services utilisation among women of reproductive age in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Freddy Rukema Kaniki, Olaniyi Felix Sanni, Kirota Nindinde Kyampof, Sebitereko Rukundwa Lazare Lazare


One important maternal health service that ensures favourable feto-maternal outcomes are high-quality antenatal care (ANC) services. This study examined variation in ANC utilisation among women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 2001 to 2018. The Demographic Health Survey (DHS) for 2007 and 2013-2014 and UNICEF 2001, 2010, and 2017-2018 data of reproductive-age women seeking ante-natal care were analsyed using IBM-SPSS for Windows version 28.0. ANC use increased from 22.0% in 2001 to 52.0% in 2007 but declined to 44.9% in 2010 and 42% in 2018. In 2007, DRC women were 3.96 times, 2010, and 2017/2018, more likely to use ANC services than 2001 (p<0.001). Also, women aged 15- 24 were 5.22 times, and those aged 25–34 were 2.75 (95%) more likely to use ANC than women aged 35 years or more (p<0.001). Secondary/higher educated women were 1.43 times more likely to attend ANC than uneducated (p<0.001). Married or women who lives with a man were 1.60 times more likely to use ANC than unmarried (p<0.001). Urban women were 1.11 times more likely to use ANC than rural (p<0.001). The result showed that apart from demographic characteristics, educational attainment, currently married/living with a man, place of residence, parity and age all impact antenatal care service usage. These needs can be met by designing a maternal health service utilisation model that considers these various aspects. (Afr J Reprod Health 2023; 27 [8]: 95- 104).

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