All authors declare that they have no competing interest.
DD and SN were involved in the conception of the study. DD conducted the statistical analysis. DD and SN drafted the manuscript. DD, PND and SN were involved in the interpretation of data and the critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors gave final approval of the version to be published.
This study investigates factors determining the timing of antenatal care (ANC) visit and the type of delivery assistant present during delivery among a national representative sample of Ghanaian women.
Data for the study was drawn from the women questionnaire (N=4,916) of the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey among 15–49-years-old women. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to explore factors determining the type of delivery assistance and timing of ANC visit for live births within five years prior to the survey.
Majority of Ghanaian women attended ANC visit (96.5%) but many (42.7%) did so late (after the first trimester), while 36.5% had delivery without the assistance of a trained personnel (30.6%) or anyone (5.9%). Age (OR=1.5, CI=1.1-1.9, OR for 25-34-year-olds compared to 15-24-year-olds), religion (OR=1.8, CI=1.2-2.8, OR for Christians versus Traditional believers) wealth index (OR=2.6, CI=1.7-3.8, OR for the richest compared to the poorest) were independently associated with early ANC visit. Likewise, age, place of residence, education and partner’s education were associated with having a delivery assisted by a trained assistant. Also, Christians (OR=1.8, CI=1.1-3.0) and Moslems (OR=1.9, CI=1.1-3.3) were more likely to have trained delivery assistants compared to their counterparts who practised traditional belief. Furthermore, the richer a woman the more likely that she would have delivery assisted by a trained personnel (OR=8.2, CI= 4.2-16.0, OR for the richest in comparison to the poorest).
Despite the relatively high antenatal care utilisation among Ghanaian women, significant variations exist across the socio-demographic spectrum. Furthermore, a large number of women failed to meet the WHO recommendation to attend antenatal care within the first trimester of pregnancy. These findings have important implications for reducing maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by the year 2015.