BMC Women's Health
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World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends quality antenatal care (ANC) for all pregnant women, as one of the strategies for achieving targets 3.1 and 3.2 of the sustainable development goals. Maternal mortality ratio remains high in Cameroon (782 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births). Extant literature suggest a positive association between women empowerment indicators and maternal healthcare utilisation in general. In Cameroon, this association has not received scholarly attention. To fill this knowledge gap, we investigated the association between women empowerment indicators and quality ANC in Cameroon.
Data of 4615 women of reproductive age were analysed from the women’s file of the 2018 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey. Quality ANC (measured by six indicators) was the outcome of interest. Binary Logistic Regression was conducted. All results of the Binary Logistic Regression analysis were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All analyses were done using Stata version 14.
In all, 13.5% of the respondents received quality ANC. Women with low knowledge level (aOR = 0.66, CI 0.45, 0.98) had a lesser likelihood of receiving quality ANC compared to those with medium knowledge level. Women who highly approved wife beating (aOR = 0.54, CI 0.35, 0.83) had lesser odds of receiving quality ANC compared to those with low approval of wife beating.
The study has pointed to the need for multifaceted approaches aimed at enhancing the knowledge base of women. The Ministry of Public Health should collaborate and intensify female’s reproductive health education. The study suggests that women advocacy and maternal healthcare interventions in Cameroon must strive to identify women who approve of wife beating and motivate them to disapprove all forms of violence.
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