Background: Optimal antenatal care (ANC4 +) needs to be used throughout pregnancy to reduce pregnancy complications and maternal mortality. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eight ANC contacts, while Ethiopia has the lowest coverage of at least four ANC visits. Therefore, this study aimed to identify factors associated with optimal ANC visits among pregnant women in Ethiopia.
Methods: This study is a secondary data analysis of the 2019 Ethiopian Mini Demographic and Health Survey (EMDHS). A multilevel logistic regression model is set up to identify factors associated with optimal ANC visits. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to estimate the strength of the association between the outcome and the predictor variables.
Results: Overall, 43% of women had optimal ANC visits during their last pregnancy. Higher educated women are 3.99 times more likely (AOR = 3.99; 95% CI: 2.62-6.02) to have optimal ANC visits than women with no formal education. The wealthiest women are 2.09 times more likely (AOR = 2.09; 95% CI: 1.56-2.82) to have optimal ANC visits than women in the poorest quintile. The odds of optimal ANC visit is 42 percent lower in rural women (AOR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.41-0.83) compared to women living in urban areas.
Conclusion: Women's educational status, wealth status, mass media exposure, place of residence and region are factors that are significantly associated with optimal ANC visit. These findings help health care programmers and policymakers to introduce appropriate policies and programs to ensure optimal ANC coverage. Priority should be given to addressing economic and educational interventions.