Type of occupation has been linked to early antenatal care visits whereby women in different occupation categories tend to have different timing for antenatal care visits. Different occupations require varying levels of commitment, remuneration and energy requirements. This study, therefore, sought to investigate the association between the type of occupation and early antenatal care visits in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is a secondary analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data from 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted between 2010 and 2018. The study included 131,912 working women. We employed binary logistic regression models to assess the association between type of occupation and timely initiation of antenatal care visits.
The overall prevalence of early initiation of antenatal care visits was 39.9%. Early antenatal care visit was high in Liberia (70.1%) but low in DR Congo (18.6%). We noted that compared to managerial workers, women in all other work categories had lower odds of early antenatal care visit and this was prominent among agricultural workers [aOR = 0.74, CI = 0.69, 0.79]. Women from Liberia [aOR = 3.14, CI = 2.84, 3.48] and Senegal [aOR = 2.55, CI = 2.31, 2.81] had higher tendency of early antenatal care visits compared with those from Angola.
The findings bring to bear some essential elements worth considering to enhance early antenatal care visits within sub-Saharan Africa irrespective of the type of occupation. Women in the agricultural industry need much attention in order to bridge the early antenatal care visit gap between them and workers of other sectors. A critical review of the maternal health service delivery in DR Congo is needed considering the low rate of early antenatal care visits.
Bibliographical noteThe authors are grateful to MeasureDHS for making the data available for this study.
© 2022. The Author(s).
- Early ANC
- Maternal health
- Public Health