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Introduction Improving maternal health is a global public health challenge especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The optimum utilisation of antenatal care (ANC) by pregnant women is known to improve maternal health outcomes. Maternal morbidity and mortality rates in Ghana remain unacceptably high, particularly in rural settings where skilled delivery care often times is disproportionally low. This study assessed factors associated with optimum utilisation of antenatal care in rural Ghana. Methods A cross-sectional design was applied to collect data among eligible participants between October 2018 and January 2019. A total of 322 women who gave birth and attended the postnatal clinic were recruited for the study. Consecutive sampling was employed in recruiting participants. The associations between the dependent variables (ANC service utilisation and knowledge of ANC) and independent variables (socio-demographic characteristics) were examined using ordinary least squares logistic regression at 95% confidence interval in STATA version 14.0. Results Of the 322 participants, 69.0% reported utilising at least four or more times ANC services. Determinants of women attending ANC for four or more times was significantly associated with age [OR = 4.36 (95%CI: 2.16–8.80), p<0.001], educational level [OR = 10.18 (95%CI:3.86–26.87), p<0.001], and insured with National Health Insurance Scheme [OR = 3.42 (95%CI: 1.72–6.82), p<0.001]. Not married [OR = 0.65 (0.39–1.09), p = 0.011] or divorced [OR = 0.33 (95%CI: 0.13–0.83), p = 0.019] was negatively associated with utilisation of four or more ANC services. The majority (79.0%) of the participants had a good level of knowledge regarding antenatal care. Conclusion Although the majority of women in this study had good knowledge of ANC services, a significant number of them did not complete the recommended number of ANC visits for at least four times during a normal pregnancy. Awareness and further education to reproductiveage women on the significant role adequate ANC attendance plays in advancing health and well-being require further investments, particularly among rural women in Ghana.

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Why is it important?

This study explored knowledge and its associated factors regarding utilisation of antenatal care in Ghana.


This work explored factors that affect utilisation of antenatal care in Ghana. Results of this work could shape policy regarding antenatal care in Ghana.


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This page is a summary of: Women’s knowledge and its associated factors regarding optimum utilisation of antenatal care in rural Ghana: A cross-sectional study, PLoS ONE, July 2020, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234575.
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