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Antenatal care utilization in recently delivered rural females: A hospital‑based cross-sectional study

Parveen Singh, Rajiv K Gupta, Rashmi Kumari, Bhavna Langer, Chandini Gupta, Riya Gupta.

Background: Adequate antenatal care (ANC) services hold the key for the health of both the pregnant mother and her newborn. Utilization of ANC services is of paramount importance for reducing maternal mortality in India where maternal mortality rate remains a cause of concern despite several measures undertaken in this regard.

Objectives: The study aimed to assess the utilization of ANC services in the recently delivered rural females.

Materials and Methods: The current study was a hospital-based cross-sectional study. A predesigned and pretested questionnaire was administered to the rural females who had delivered in tertiary care teaching hospital in Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The data were tabulated, analyzed, and presented in proportions. Chi-square was the test of significance with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: During the study, 310 rural recently delivered females were interviewed. One-third of them were receiving ANC from subhealth centre and 58.70% of the total had registered before 12 weeks of gestation. Only one-third had taken >100 iron-folic acid tablets during pregnancy. Among various variables, age, religion, literacy, type of family, and occupation of mother were found to be statistically significant in relation to ANC visits (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Despite best efforts of Government of India in context to maternal and child health services in the rural areas of the country, the results show that there remain a few areas of concern. The need is to upgrade the quality of services as well as public health infrastructure, especially in the vast hinterlands of the nation.

Key words: Antenatal Care; Utilization Pattern; Recently Married Rural Females

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