Factors for Late Initiation of Antenatal Care in Kahama Municipal, Tanzania


  •   Hamis Bakari

  •   Gladys Reuben Mahiti


Background: Maternal mortality is a major public health issue in developing countries due to its shocking magnitude and lower declining pattern, 295 000 women died of pregnancy or childbirth related complications in 2017. Late initiation of Antenatal Care (ANC) services in most low-income countries like Tanzania has been reported as a major problem which increase maternal mortality rate (MMR). However, different factors for late initiation of antenatal care are not well identified. Therefore, this study aimed to identify factors for late initiation of antenatal care both individual factors and health policy factors as per pregnant women and health care providers opinions in Kahama Municipal, Tanzania.

Broad Objective: The study focused on assessment of factors for late initiation of Antenatal Care (ANC) in Kahama Municipal, Tanzania.

Materials and Methods: This study was conducted using a qualitative method with exploratory approach which was carried out to explore factors for late initiation of antenatal care in Kahama Municipal. An in-depth interview (IDI) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) were methods used to collect data. The study comprised of 14 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with pregnant women with age range of 18 years to 49 years attending antenatal care clinics in two health facilities and 4 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with health care providers attending pregnant women during antenatal care clinic visit. Furthermore, two Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), one from each health facility with pregnant women were conducted.

Data Analysis: Thematic analysis was conducted through use of inductive approach. The audio recordings were conducted using the Swahili language then transcribed and translated into the English language where themes were obtained after translation.

Results: Findings obtained from this study were factors for late initiation of antenatal care as reported by both pregnant women and health care providers. Factors for late initiation of antenatal care were under guidance of Health Behavioral Modal (HBM): Factors mentioned by pregnant women included pregnant women education level, negligence of pregnant women to attend clinic, unplanned pregnancy among couples, distance from pregnant women settlement to the facility, pregnant women misconceptions related to antenatal care services, use of local herbs, pregnancy complications, , unfriendly services and unequal gender power relation within a family. Factors mentioned by health care providers based on health policy and managerial factors such as Partner accompanying policy, distant allocation of health facility from people’s settlement and unfriendly services provided by health care providers. Conclusion: This study focused on assessing factors for late initiation of antenatal care in Kahama municipal council in Shinyanga, Tanzania. Different factors for late initiation of antenatal care were reported which included pregnant women and health care providers. Pregnant women education level, negligence of pregnant women to attend clinic, unplanned pregnancy among couples, and distance from pregnant women settlement to the facility, pregnant women misconceptions related to antenatal care services, use of local herbs, pregnancy complications. Health policy and managerial related factors were partner accompanying policy, unfriendly services, and allocation of health facility.

Recommendation: However different improvement made on maternal health services in Tanzania but still some of pregnant women are not utilizing it efficiently because of different obstacles like distance from people’s settlement to the health facility, Partner accompanying policy and unfriendly services provided by health care providers. Through such obstacles as a policy maker, I would like to advice Government through Ministry of Health to allocate health facility nearby people’s settlement, providing outreach program to educate the community about antenatal care rather than relying on partner accompanying policy and lastly is provision of refresher training related to client’s rights during health care services provision to all staff.

Keywords: Antenatal care, health care providers, late initiation, pregnant woman.Antenatal care, health care providers, late initiation, pregnant woman


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How to Cite
Bakari, H., & Mahiti, G. R. (2022). Factors for Late Initiation of Antenatal Care in Kahama Municipal, Tanzania. European Journal of Clinical Medicine, 3(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.24018/clinicmed.2022.3.1.149