Socio- demographic characteristics of study participants
In this study, a total of 402 study participants were involved. The mean age of study participants were 35.5(SD ± 6.1 years). All 402(100%) of respondents were orthodox followers by religion and Amhara by ethnicity. More than four fifth, 341(84.8%) of male partners were from the rural areas. Nearly three fifth, 235(58.5%) of the respondents were no formal education. The majority, 301(74.9%) of the study participants were farmers by their occupation (See Table 1).
Nearly half, 190(47.3%) of the respondents had good knowledge.
Health system variables of study participants
Regarding, health system barriers, 253(62.9%) of the respondents had health system barriers. Furthermore, nearly half 192(47.8%) of the respondents were disagree that antenatal clinics should be opened on weekends and evening for men to attend these clinics with their partner.
Prevalence of husband antenatal care attendance
One hundred twenty eight (31.8%) of the respondents were found to be accompanied by their wife during their recent antenatal care visit.
Factor associated with prevalence of husband antenatal care attendance
The prevalence of husband antenatal care attendance were 1.93[AOR 1.93, 95%CI, 1.14-3.26] times higher in males who attended secondary and above education than those who had no formal education. Husbands who had good knowledge about antenatal care services were 3.30[AOR 3.30, 95%CI, 2.02-5.39] times more likely to be attended in antenatal care activities than those who had poor antenatal care knowledge. Regarding health system barrier respondents who hadn’t health system barrier were 2.32[AOR 2.32, 95%CI, 1.35-4.00] times more likely to be attended in antenatal care services than the counterpart. (See Table 2)
The overall prevalence of husband antenatal care attendance was found to be 31.8% [95%CI, 27.4-36.3]. This report revealed that many problem which could be resolved during antenatal care service is prevalent including allocation of money, transport and time for women to attend a health center for antenatal care, workload during pregnancy and health care children in the study area because there is highly patrilineal inheritance in the community. This is evidenced by high maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Amhara regional state in which the study area is found. This finding is in line with study report from Tigray region, Ethiopian and Central Ghana [28, 29]. This might be now a day’s almost all African countries have implemented same strategies that can increase the engagement of husbands in maternal health services through extensive work of health extension workers and health care providers. This finding is slightly higher than findings from a study conducted in Easter Ethiopia and Goba Town, Oromia region Ethiopia [19, 28]. The difference could probably explained by the time gap as better attention has been given to husband attendance in maternal health care services these days and improvements in the health care systems.
But this finding is lower compared to the finding from Nepal, Thailand, Kenya and Ambo Town Ethiopia [14, 31-32]. The discrepancy of these findings might be the difference in method used, sociodemographic characteristics of the study participants, and availability and accessibility of the infrastructures.
Husbands who had attended secondary and above education were 1.93 times more likely to accompany their wives in ANC than those who had no formal education. Similar studies in Nepal, Central Ghana and Goba town Ethiopia have found that education level is an important factor for husband antenatal care attendance [14, 18, 29]. This may be related to as people more educated they could easily understood the importance of husband attendance in maternal health care service including antenatal care. Moreover, educated males will have better awareness about the benefits of antenatal care service utilization.
Husbands who had good knowledge on antenatal care services were 3.30 times more likely to accompany their wives in antenatal care service than those who had poor antenatal care knowledge. This finding is similar with the studies conducted in Northern Ghana, Kenya, and Arbaminch Ethiopia [32-34]. The possible explanation for this might be having good knowledge about ANC will help the partners to know the benefit of antenatal care programme for themselves as well as their new born. On the other hand, husbands with poor knowledge on ANC could not have complete picture on the essence of ANC to the mother and the fetus’
Respondents who hadn’t health system barriers were 2.32 times more likely to accompany their wives in ANC services compared to their counterparts. This finding is consistent with the study findings from Uganda and Eastern Ethiopia [28, 35]. The possible justification could be those husbands who hadn’t health system barriers will have the initiative to accompany their wife to health facility for antenatal care service.