Achieving antenatal care attendance and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy in Geita, Tanzania

Ryan Lash and colleagues examined factors associated with achieving antenatal care (ANC) attendance and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) and made recommendations in Geita Region, Tanzania, 2019. There findings are being presented at the virtual 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Malaria in pregnancy results in an estimated 10,000 maternal and 100,000 infant deaths globally each year. To reduce this burden, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends pregnant women in high to moderate malaria transmission areas receive at least 3 doses of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp3) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) starting in the second trimester as part of routine antenatal care (ANC). Tanzania has national coverage goals of 80% coverage for women receiving IPTp3 and at least four ANC visits (ANC4).

We surveyed women 15-49 years who had given birth in the last 12 months from randomly selected households across 40 communities in Geita Region, Tanzania. ANC attendance and IPTp uptake was recorded from respondent ANC cards if available, or self-reported. Predictors of ANC4 and IPT3 uptake were identified using logistic regression modeling, accounting for clustering and controlling for gravidity.

Of 1,111 women surveyed, 505 (51.9%) received IPTp3 and 472 (43.4%) achieved ANC4. Among women who achieved ANC4, 295 (62.5%) received IPTp3. IPTp3 was associated with basic knowledge about ANC and IPTp (aOR 2.4, CI 1.9 -3.1), initiating ANC <20 weeks (aOR 1.7, CI 1.3-2.3), waiting at the facility for <120 minutes (aOR 1.4, CI 1.1-1.9), and receiving advice from a health worker about SP (aOR 1.7, CI 1.3-2.2).

ANC4 was associated with better access to care (aOR 1.9, CI 1.3-2.8, for travelling <3.75 km to ANC and aOR 1.9, CI 1.1-2.2, for waiting <90 minutes for the provider), initiating ANC at <20 weeks gestation (aOR 10.7, CI 8.2-14.1), and basic knowledge about ANC and IPTp (aOR 1.4, CI 1.0-1.9). Poor access to care and late initiation of ANC reduced the likelihood that women will attend 4 ANC visits. Knowledge was a predictor of both ANC attendance and IPTp uptake; increasing women’s health literacy may overcome some of the barriers associated with retention in ANC.

New approaches to delivering ANC that focus on improving knowledge and the experience of care among ANC clients could help close coverage gaps for ANC4 and IPTp3 in Tanzania

Authors and Affiliations

R. Ryan Lash(1), Ruth Lemwayi(2), Melkior Assenga(2), Alen Kinyina(2), Annette Almeida(2), Samwel L. Nhiga(3), Lia Florey(4), Chonge Kitojo(5), Erik Reaves(6), Miriam Kombe(5), Ally Mohamed(3), Japhet Simeo(7), Stephanie Suhowatsky(8), Mary Drake(2), Julie Gutman(1) 1.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States, 2.Jhpiego Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 3.National Malaria Control Program, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 4.US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, United States, 5.US President’s Malaria Initiative / US Agency for International Development Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 6.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / US President’s Malaria Initiative Tanzania, Atlanta, GA, United States, 7.Regional Medical Office, Geita, Geita, Tanzania, United Republic of, 8.Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States

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