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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 236-239

Gestational age at booking for antenatal care in a tertiary health facility in north-central, Nigeria

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University Makurdi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dennis Isaac Ifenne
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University Makurdi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.107602

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Background: Early initiation of antenatal care is widely believed to improve maternal and fetal outcome. This study was designed to ascertain the gestational age at booking using World Health Organization recommendations for developing countries. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out using interviewer-administered questionnaire to 345 willing participants at a booking clinic in a tertiary health facility in North-Central, Nigeria. Results: A total of 345 women were interviewed. The average age of the clients was 27.1±5.1 years. Almost (45.8%) had at least secondary level of education. One-third of the women were not working women. The average gestational age at booking was 19.1±7.8. Late booking (≥17 weeks) was significantly influenced by the client's level of education ( P=0.017). Reasons for booking late were given as follows: Not being sick (26.1%), Lack of knowledge of booking time (22.8%), having booked elsewhere (14.1%), financial constraints (9.2%), fear of too many follow-up visits (4.9%), spouse's un co-operative attitude (3.9%), lack of transport to the health care facility (2.2%), and other minor reasons (16.8%). Conclusion: Most women booked for antenatal care (ANC) late. Efforts toward maternal education, public health enlightenment campaigns, poverty reduction, and use of focused antenatal care model should be sustained as measures to encourage early initiation of ANC.

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