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Factors associated with antenatal care visits in Afghanistan: secondary analysis of Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey 2015
Authors: Azimi MW, Yamamoto E, Saw YM, Kariya T, Arab AS, Sadaat SI, Farzad F, and Hamajima N
Source: Nagoya Journal of Medical Science, 81(1): 121-131; DOI: 10.18999/nagjms.81.1.121
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2019
Abstract: Afghanistan is one of the countries with the poorest maternal mortality ratio in the world. Inadequate utilization of antenatal care (ANC) services increases the risk of maternal mortality. This study aimed to identify the factors associated with ANC visits in Afghanistan. The dataset of the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey (AfDHS) 2015 were used for taking the socio-demographic factors, cultural factors, and the number of ANC visits. The subjects of this study were 18,790 women who had at least one live birth in the last five years, and 10,554 women (56.2%) had availed of at least one ANC visit. Most women were 20-29 years old (53.3%), poor (41.7%), had 2-4 children (43.9%), lived in rural areas (76.1%), and had no education (85.0%) or no job (86.7%). Most women answered that husbands made a decision about their healthcare and that getting permission from their husbands was a major challenge. Multivariate analysis showed that age, ethnicity, area of residence, parity, women's education, husband's education, literacy, having a job, wealth, the decision maker for healthcare, and difficulty in getting permission from the husband were significantly correlated with availing of the ANC visits. This study showed that not only the socio-demographic factors but also the cultural factors were associated with ANC visits. The Afghanistan government should improve the education programs at schools and healthcare facilities, for both men and women. To augment women's propensity to take a decision, the programs for women's empowerment need to be supported and extended across the country. KEYWORDS: Afghanistan; Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey; antenatal care; women