Objective: Majority of the women in the developing countries are unable receive antenatal care for a variety of reasons. This study determines the factors affecting utilisation of antenatal care by women of a rural area in Sindh, Pakistan.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during August 1997, in Union Council Jhangara, Sindh, Pakistan. Married women, who had delivered at least one child, were included in the study from each household and systematically 222 eligible women were selected. The effects of demographic, socio-economic and environmental factors on the utilisation of antenatal care, by women during their most recent pregnancy were also studied. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess independent effect of individual factors.
Results: Among the study subjects, 29.3% (65) of the women utilised antenatal care during the last (most recent) pregnancy and out of them 72.3% (47) received it from the government health care provider. Presence of electricity in the house was strongly associated with the utilisation of antenatal care (AOR = 5.3; 95% CI 2.2-12.7). Women whose husbands were in white-collar occupation, were utilizing the antenatal care significantly more (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.2-4.6) compared to women whose husbands were in blue-collar occupations.
Conclusion: The study shows that social status and economic condition of a woman is an important determinant of utilisation of antenatal care. Therefore, improvement of socioeconomic status is required to increase utilization of antenatal and perinatal care.