Factors associated with the utilization of antenatal care and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services in Ethiopia: Applying a count regression model

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Abstract

Background: Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) coverage has been low in Ethiopia and the service has been implemented in a fragmented manner. Solutions to this problem have mainly been sought on the supply-side in the form of improved management and allocation of limited resources. However, this approach largely ignores the demand-side factors associated with low PMTCT coverage in the country. The study assesses the factors associated with the utilization of PMTCT services taking into consideration counts of visits to antenatal care (ANC) services in urban high-HIV prevalence and rural low-HIV prevalence settings in Ethiopia. Methods: A multivariate regression model was employed to identify significant factors associated with PMTCT service utilization. Poisson and negative binomial regression models were applied, considering the number of ANC visits as a dependent variable. The explanatory variables were age; educational status; type of occupation; decision-making power in the household; living in proximity to educated people; a neighborhood with good welfare services; location (urban high-HIV prevalence and rural low-HIV prevalence); transportation accessibility; walking distance (in minutes); and household income status. The alpha dispersion test (a) was performed to measure the goodness-of-fit of the model. Significant results were reported at p-values of < 0.05 and < 0.001. Results: Household income, socio-economic setting (urban high-HIV prevalence and rural low-HIV prevalence) and walking distance (in minutes) had a statistically significant relationship with the number of ANC visits by pregnant women (p < 0.05). A pregnant woman from an urban high-HIV prevalence setting would be expected to make 34% more ANC visits (counts) than her rural low-HIV prevalence counterparts (p < 0.05). Holding other variables constant, a unit increase in household income would increase the expected ANC visits by 0.004%. An increase in walking distance by a unit (a minute) would decrease the number of ANC visits by 0.001(p < 0.001). Conclusion: Long walking distance, low household income and living in a rural setting are the significant factors associated with low PMTCT service utilization. The primary strategies for a holistic policy to improve ANC/PMTCT utilization should thus include improving the geographical accessibility of ANC/PMTCT services, expanding household welfare and paying more attention to remote rural areas.

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Zegeye, E. A., Mbonigaba, J., & Dimbuene, Z. T. (2018). Factors associated with the utilization of antenatal care and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services in Ethiopia: Applying a count regression model. BMC Women’s Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0679-9

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