Background: High maternal and neonatal mortality persist in Benin Republic despite recent improvements. Numerous women and newborns continue to suffer preventable deaths. Although factors associated with the attendance of at least one antenatal care (ANC) visit are well documented, there is little evidence on factors related to compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommended four ANC visits. The present study determined the extent to which reproductive age mothers received the ANC check-ups at a health facility focussing on the WHO-recommended regimen.
Methods: We examined factors related to ANC services utilisation patterns amongst 8701 women recruited in the 2011/2012 Benin Demographic and Health Survey data using multinomial logistic regression.
Results: The percentage of mothers with full ANC attendance was 59.56%, 27.61% received less than 4 visits and 12.84% had never attended ANC services. Results showed that out of 13 variables assessed, only the place of residence was not associated with ANC seeking. Amongst significant variables, household wealth index, female education and desire for pregnancy were the most important factors related to ANC services seeking, especially for the achievement of WHO recommended four ANC visits. The relative risk ratio of ANC attendance, for the achievement of WHO recommended four ANC regimens was high amongst mothers from economically well-off households (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR] for richest women = 10.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.16-18.33), educated women (aRRR for primary level = 4.34, 95% CI: 3.00-6.27) and those with desired pregnancies (aRRR = 3.4, 95% CI: 2.58-4.48).
Conclusion: To achieve WHO-recommended minimum four ANC visits in Benin Republic, our findings suggest the need to financially support the most economically disadvantaged pregnant women and their families during pregnancy, advocate for reducing unmet needs for family planning, strengthen girls' education, especially by maintaining them in school till completion of at least the secondary school.