In Ethiopia, the levels of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality are among the highest in the world. This is attributed to, among other factors, none use of modern health care services by women in Ethiopia. According to the 2005 Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey, more than seven in ten mothers did not receive antenatal care at all. Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore factors influencing antenatal care services utilization in Southern Ethiopia.
A community-based cross sectional study was conducted in Hadiya Zone of Southern Ethiopia from January to February 2009. A multi stage sampling technique was used to select the study population in one urban and five rural kebeles. Analysis was done using SPSS for windows version 16.
This study revealed that antenatal care service utilization in the study area was 86.3%. However, from those who attended antenatal care service 406 (68.2%) started antenatal care visit during the second trimester of pregnancy and significant proportion 250 (42%) had less than four visits. Maternal age, husband attitude, family size, maternal education, and perceived morbidity were major predictors of antenatal care service utilization.
Though the antenatal care service utilization is high in the study population, four in ten of the mothers did not have the minimum number of visits recommended by World Health Organization. Promoting information, education and communication in the community is recommended to favorably affect the major predictors of antenatal care service utilization.
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