Background: Early initiation of the antenatal clinic is vital as it allows early detection, management, and prevention of problems that may occur during pregnancy time. The aim of the analysis was to determine the prevalence and predictors of early antenatal booking among women of reproductive age in Tanzania.
Method: The study used data from the 2015-16 Tanzania HIV Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicators Survey (2015-16 TDHS-MIS). A total of 6924 women of active reproductive age from 15 to 49 were included in the analysis. Both univariate and multiple regression analyses were used to determine predictors of early antenatal booking.
Results: Only 1586(22.9%) of pregnant women had early antenatal booking. After adjusted for the confounders, the predictors of early antenatal booking were age of a woman (20 to 34 years, AOR=1.554 at 95% CI=1.213-1.993, and more than 34 years, AOR=1.758 at 95% CI=1.306-2.368); wealth status (rich, AOR=1.520 at 95% CI=1.282-1.802); education level (higher education, AOR= 2.355 at 95% CI=1.36-4.079); parity (Para 2 to 3,AOR=0.85 at 95% CI=0.727-0.994 and Para 5+, AOR=0.577 at 95%CI=0.465-0.715); zones (Unguja, AOR=0.433 at 95% CI =0.284-0.658 and Pemba, AOR=0.392 at 95% CI = 0.236-0.649).
Conclusion: Early antenatal booking in Tanzania is extremely low. Women were more likely to initiate antenatal visits within the first 12 weeks are those from well-off families, those with higher education, primiparity women, and those from Tanzania mainland urban. The innovative interventional study is highly recommended in order to come up with an effective strategy to improve timing for antenatal booking
Plain English: Early antenatal booking is when a pregnant woman initiates antenatal visit for a checkup within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The study is about finding the percentage of women of reproductive age in Tanzania who made antenatal visits within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Early antenatal booking is beneficial to both pregnant women and unborn children. It is so because early visit does offer an opportunity for early detection of complications and prevention of complications.
The study also aimed to determine predictors of early antenatal booking in Tanzania. After review of literature socio-demographic characteristics of a woman were used to assess their influence on early antenatal booking. These characteristics were; the age of a woman, education status, wealth index, place of residence, marital status, working status, and zones within Tanzania. Also, the obstetric characteristic of a woman was used to assess its influence on early antenatal booking. In this characteristic, a parity of woman was used. The perception towards early antenatal booking was also included as a variable to assess its influence on early antenatal booking.
The Tanzania demographic and health survey 2015-16 data set was used to develop this manuscript. This study is of significance to both researches and policymakers. To researchers, the finding can guide the development of an intervention study or a program targeting to improve timing for antenatal visits. To policymakers, the finding can be used to guide the national guidelines for antenatal visits. It is quite clear that Tanzania is among the countries which offer folic acid supplement during the antenatal sessions. The supplement will be beneficial if it started to be given during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.