A Qualitative Explorative Study from Service Providers’ Perspective of Reasons Influencing Timing of First Antenatal Care Attendance, In Dire Dawa City Administration, East Ethiopia
Reasons Influencing Timing of First Antenatal Care Attendance
Background: The timing of first Antenatal Care (ANC) attendance is referred to be late when a pregnant woman starts her first ANC booking after 16 weeks of gestational age and is referred early if she starts before 16 weeks of gestation. Though there is marked improvement in ANC coverage, more than half of the pregnant women in Dire Dawa city initiate their first ANC attendance late.Objective: The overall purpose of this study was to explore the reasons that influence the timing of First Antenatal Care booking in public health facilities of Dire Dawa city Administration, from ANC service providers’ perspective. Subjects and Methods: Ten ANC service providing professionals from 10 public health facilities of Dire Dawa city Administration who were selected using purposive convenience sampling technique were involved in this qualitative explorative study that employed phenomenology study design to collect data of in-depth interviews. The tape recorded data were transcribed and manually analyzed using colaizzi's data analysis matrix method. Results: Five themes emerged as reasons for late initiation of first ANC booking: poor maternal knowledge,noninvolvement of spouse in decision making of ANC attendance, unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancy, non courteous and non-empathic service providers and past maternal negative reproductive experiences. Conclusion: These five identified reasons of late first ANC attendance problems could be minimized through strategic interventions that improve women`s knowledge and practice towards early initiation of first ANC booking and family planning utilization, provision of counseling services to both partners and provision of refreshing in service trainings to health professions about considerations of ethical issues. Conducting further research on this matter is also recommended.