Antenatal care services utilization among women of reproductive age in semi-urban communities in Orlu LGA, Imo State, Nigeria
Background: Utilization of antenatal care services is generally associated with improved maternal and neonatal health outcomes.
Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the awareness and utilization of antenatal care services among women of reproductive age in communities in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out between September and October 2013 among 425 women of reproductive age using a multi-stage sampling technique.
Results: Almost all the respondents (93.9%) were aware of antenatal care services. A good proportion of the mothers (90.1%) used antenatal services, at least, once during their most recent pregnancies, while 80.3% had skilled attendants at delivery. Slightly over half of the respondents (58.8%) booked in the first trimesters. Utilization of antenatal services was influenced by age, marital status, occupation and level of education of mothers (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Despite high awareness and utilization observed in this study, the use of skilled attendants during delivery was sub-optimal. Concerted effort should be made to ensure that every pregnant woman has access to skilled attendants during delivery.
Keywords: Awareness, first trimester, maternal mortality, reproductive age, skilled attendants