Antenatal Care Services Utilization among Women of Reproductive Age in Urban and Rural Communities of South East Nigeria: A Comparative Study

CB Duru, NO Eke, CO Ifeadike, KC Diwe, KA Uwakwe, BO Nwosu, HN Chineke


Background: Antenatal care is an evidence based
intervention that improves maternal and perinatal
outcome. Assessment and re-assessment of its utilization
by rural and urban women in Nigeria is necessary for
planning healthcare programmes and interventions.
Aim: This study aims to assess urban – rural differences in
antenatal care services utilization among women in
South-East Nigeria and factors that influence such.
Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study carried out
among women of reproductive age in Anambra State,
South-East Nigeria. Participants were selected using
multistage sampling technique. Data was collected using
pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaires which were
interviewer-administered. Data obtained was analyzed
using SPSS version 17. Tests of significance were done
using Chi square test and student T test at 95% confidence

Results: Six hundred women were included in the study;
300 respectively, from urban and rural settings. The mean
age of respondents was 33.9+2.7 years. The average
month at booking was higher in the rural areas (5.2
months) when compared to the urban (4.4) months, with
more respondents in the urban areas booking earlier
(P=0.000). More respondents in the urban, 140 (50.8%),
attended ANC up to 4 times when compared to their rural
counterparts, 102(37.0%) (p= 0.000). Women in the urban
areas were more likely to have deliveries supervised by
skilled birth attendants (p= 0.000). The estimated cost of
antenatal care was higher in the urban areas than the
rural (p= 0.000). Satisfaction received from antenatal and
delivery services was also higher in the urban settings (p=

Conclusion: Rural-urban differences exist in the
utilization of antenatal care services, with a higher
proportion of urban women utilizing these services Increased health education of women, especially in therural areas, is advocated.

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