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Interrelationships between early antenatal care, health facility delivery and early postnatal care among women in Uganda: a structural equation analysis
Authors: Ruth Atuhaire, Leonard K. Atuhaire, Robert Wamala, and Elizabeth Nansubuga
Source: Global Health Action, DOI:
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Delivery care
Institutional births
Maternal health
Postnatal care
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2020
Abstract: Background: Early medical checkups during and after delivery are key strategies to detect, prevent and treat maternal health concerns. Knowledge of interrelationships between early Antenatal Care (ANC), skilled delivery and early postnatal care (EPNC) is essential for focused and well-targeted interventions. This paper investigated the interconnectedness between maternal health services in Uganda. Objective: This study examines the predictors of interrelationships between early antenatal care, health facility delivery and early postnatal care. Methods: We used a sample of 10,152 women of reproductive ages (15–49), who delivered a child five years prior to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. A generalized Structural Equation Model and STATA 13.0 software were used. Results: Early ANC was a mediating factor for health facility delivery (aOR=1.04; 95% CI=1.01-1.14) and EPNC (aOR=1.1; 95% CI=1.05-1.26). Increased odds of early ANC utilization was directly associated with: Adult women aged 35-49 (aOR=1.18; 95% CI=1.10-1.35), having completed primary seven (aOR=1.68; 95% CI=1.56-1.84); distance to a health facility (aOR=1.35; 95% CI=1.23-1.73) and costs (aOR=1.85; 95% CI=1.31-2.12) not being a problem, available community workers (aOR=1.06; 95% CI=1.04-1.17), pregnancy complications (aOR=2.04; 95% CI=1.85-2.26) and desire for pregnancy (aOR=1.15; 95% CI=1.07-1.36). Through early ANC utilization, being married (aOR=1.16; (=1.04*1.10)), no distance issues ((aOR=1.40; (=1.04*1.35)) and complications (aOR=2.12; (=1.04*2.04)) indirectly influenced utilization of health facility delivery. Women aged 20-34 (aOR=1.01; (=0.92*1.1)), completing primary seven (aOR=1.85; (=1.69*1.1)) and no cost problems (aOR=2.04; (=1.85*1.1)) indirectly influenced EPNC. Conclusion: Early antenatal care was a mediating factor for health facility delivery and EPNC; and hence, there is need for more focus on factors for increased early antenatal care utilization. Women with higher education and those with no cost problems were more likely to have early ANC utilization, skilled delivery and EPNC; therefore there is need to design and implement policies targeting social and economically disadvantaged women.