Back to browse results
Determinants of completing recommended antenatal care utilization in sub-Saharan from 2006 to 2018: evidence from 36 countries using Demographic and Health Surveys
Authors: Zemenu Tadesse Tessema, Achamyeleh Birhanu Teshale, Getayeneh Antehunegn Tesema, and Koku Sisay Tamirat
Source: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , Volume 21, Article number: 192; DOI:
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Mass media
Rural-urban differentials
Service utilization
Wealth Index
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: MAR 2021
Abstract: Background: Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, with 99% of these maternal deaths occurring in low and lower-middle-income countries. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) alone accounts for roughly 66%. If pregnant women gained recommended ANC (Antenatal Care), these maternal deaths could be prevented. Still, many women lack recommended ANC in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at determining the pooled prevalence and determinants of recommended ANC utilization in SSA. Methods: We used the most recent standard demographic and health survey data from the period of 2006 to 2018 for 36 SSA countries. A total of 260,572 women who had at least one live birth 5?years preceding the survey were included in this study. A meta-analysis of DHS data of the Sub-Saharan countries was conducted to generate pooled prevalence, and a forest plot was used to present it. A multilevel multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to identify determinants of recommended ANC utilization. The AOR (Adjusted Odds Ratio) with their 95% CI and p-value =0.05 was used to declare the recommended ANC utilization determinates. Results: The pooled prevalence of recommended antenatal care utilization in sub-Saharan Africa countries were 58.53% [95% CI: 58.35, 58.71], with the highest recommended ANC utilization in the Southern Region of Africa (78.86%) and the low recommended ANC utilization in Eastern Regions of Africa (53.39%). In the multilevel multivariable logistic regression model region, residence, literacy level, maternal education, husband education, maternal occupation, women health care decision autonomy, wealth index, media exposure, accessing health care, wanted pregnancy, contraceptive use, and birth order were determinants of recommended ANC utilization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conclusion: The coverage of recommended ANC service utilization was with high disparities among the region. Being a rural residence, illiterate, low education level, had no occupation, low women autonomy, low socioeconomic status, not exposed to media, a big problem to access health care, unplanned pregnancy, not use of contraceptive were determinants of women that had no recommended ANC utilization in SSA. This study evidenced the existence of a wide gap between SSA regions and countries. Special attention is required to improve health accessibility, utilization, and quality of maternal health services.