Noncompliance with the WHO's Recommended Eight Antenatal Care Visits among Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multilevel Analysis

Emmanuel Kolawole ODUSINA, Bright Opoku AHINKORAH, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Abdul Aziz SEIDU, Eugene BUDU, Betregiorgis ZEGEYE, Sanni YAYA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a minimum of eight antenatal care (ANC) visits for positive pregnancy outcomes. This study examined the prevalence of noncompliance with 8+ ANCvisits and its associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Methods. We used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of eight countries in SSA. A pooled sample of 63,266 pregnant women aged 15-49 years who had given birth to children within 5 years prior to the surveys was included in this study. To examine the factors associated with noncompliance with ANC 8+ visits, multilevel binary logistic regression analysis was conducted, and the results were reported using odds radios at 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. The pooled prevalence of noncompliance with ANC 8+ visits was 92.3% (95% CI: 91.1%-93.3%) with the highest and lowest prevalence in Zambia (98.7%, 95% CI: 98.3%-99.1%) and Libya (73.4%, 95% CI: 70.4%-76.2%), respectively. With the individual level factors, women's age (44-49 years-aOR=0.33, 9% CI: 0.14-0.78), health insurance registration, (yes-aOR=0.53, 95% CI: 0.29-0.98), and economic status (richest-aOR=0.16, 95% CI: 0.05-0.49) were negatively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visits, while parity (five or more children-aOR=1.68, 95% CI: 1.12-2.52) was positively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visit. With the community level factors, community level literacy was negatively associated with noncompliance with 8+ ANC visit (high-aOR=0.56, 95% CI: 0.32-0.99). Conclusion. About eight out of ten pregnant women did not comply with the WHO's recommended minimum of eight ANC visits for positive pregnancy outcomes in SSA. Empowering the economic status of women, enhancing health insurance and education coverage, and giving more attention to young pregnant women and those with more children are crucial for improving the coverage of ANC 8+ visits in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6696829
Number of pages11
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the MEASURE DHS project for their support and for free access to the original data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Emmanuel Kolawole Odusina et al.


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