2. Department of Community Health, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
3. Clinical Governance Lead, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
4. Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
5. Public Health Adviser, Community Health-Shell Health, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
6. Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Access to Health in Africa (C-SAHA), Canada.
Introduction: Focused antenatal care (FANC), based on fewer goal-oriented visits, is the WHO's recommended care for pregnant women. The objectives of the study were to assess the acceptability of FANC and barriers to its implementation at the hospital.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among antenatal clinic attendees between January and March 2011 at Obio Cottage Hospital, Port Harcourt Nigeria. Women were recruited by systematic sampling technique into the study. Questionnaires which sought demographic data, acceptability or rejection of fewer antenatal visits and reasons for decisions were administered to them. Data analysis was performed using Stata 10. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine associations between demographic parameters and acceptance of FANC. Significance level was set at P<0.05.
Results: The analysis was based on 456 out of 500 completed questionnaires. The mean age and parity of the women were 28.6±4.2 and 1±1 respectively. The mean number of preferred visits was 13.4±6.9 visits, (IQR 9-18). Reduced visits were acceptable to 75% of the women. The main reason for accepting reduced visits was to save time 164 (40.6%). The main reasons for rejecting reduced visits were for better monitoring of pregnancy (35.1%) and early detection of problems (21.6%). The likelihood of accepting fewer visits increased with age. OR=1.04; 95% CI (1.09-1.10), P=0.01.
Conclusion: Focused antenatal care was acceptable to most women in the clinic. The concern it would compromise monitoring of pregnancy should be addressed during health education.
Keywords: Antenatal care, acceptability, barriers, blood donation, focused antenatal care, reduced visits