n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Factors related to antenatal-care initiation among rural women in the South-east district of Botswana - : health

Volume 13, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Antenatal care (ANC) is an important aspect of safe motherhood that has received a considerable amount of attention lately, given the dangers that women are faced with during pregnancy. This study was aimed at determining the factors that account for the late seeking of antenatal care in the South-east district of Botswana. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 160 pregnant women booked for ANC, who were referred from all clinics of the district to have ultrasound screening at the Bamalete Lutheran Hospital. The major findings included that 72% of participants initiated ANC after 16 weeks of pregnancy. Out of this number, 81.9% initiated ANC at 24 weeks and later. The majority reported that they visited ANC for checking the progress and status of the baby, while only a few mentioned illness and complications of pregnancy. Almost all the participants made monthly antenatal care visits, and perceived the potential benefits of ANC visits for the baby and themselves, and also believed that it was good to initiate antenatal care before the gestational age of 16 weeks. Besides, about half of them perceived that there might be problems if they did not visit a clinic or hospital for ANC. Only a few participants mentioned having barriers to attending ANC. These included lack of money, time and transportation. The majority of participants viewed social support as essential for their ANC visits and got support from husbands and family members. Husbands were reported as playing a major role in facilitating ANC visits. A significant number of pregnant women of older age and who were employed were found to initiate ANC visits at a later stage. The study concluded that early initiation of ANC still needed to be promoted, especially in the workplace.

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