countries with high fertility rate, maternal mortality ratio, death a woman
faces every time she becomes pregnant and the cumulative risk of maternal death
over a lifetime may be as high as one in 16, compared to one in 3,800 in the
countries of the developed world (Otieno;
UNICEF, 2000; Adu-Mensah, 2011; Richie, 2015).
About 529,000 women
die yearly from complications of
pregnancy and childbirth globally. Ninety-nine per cent (99%) of these maternal
deaths occur in the developing world and one per cent (1%) in the developed
countries. This number is based on calculations by Zahr et al. (2004).
to ANC will reduce this lifetime risk in women. (de
Bernis et al, 2003; Zahr et al., 2004). Maternal mortality rates are very high in Ghana, that
is, 230 per 100,000 live births (Gyimah et al., 2006; GHS, 2013).
The pattern of
causes of maternal deaths as estimated by WHO shows that Haemorrhage (24.8%) infection
(14.9%), unsafe abortion (12.9%), eclampsia (12.9%) and obstructed labor (6.9%)
are the leading causes of maternal mortality as estimated by WHO. 19.8% is
however, attributed to indirect causes such as malaria, hepatitis, anaemia etc (Strand,
2005; Canavan, 2008; Adu-Mensah, 2011).
contributor to high mortality is inaccessibility to antenatal care. Provision
of skilled to an extent is able to prevent, direct and manage major obstetric
complications such as haemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labour etc. Also,
provision of equipment, drugs and other
supplies essential for the management of these complications is also key in
preventing maternal deaths.
In achieving Millennium
Development Goal 5 – improving maternal health, with a target of reducing
maternal mortality ratio by three – quarters, between 1990 and 2015 – it is
essential that all pregnant women get access to antenatal care. Essential ANC
components are effective means to prevent a number of pregnancy complications and reduce maternal
deaths (Pallikadavath et al., 2004).
Pregnant women receiving prenatal
care in Ghana was 90.50% as of 2014. Its highest value over the past 26 years
was 96.40% in 2011 and its lowest stood
at 82.40% in 1988 (Anchang-Kimbi et al., 2014; Kawakatsu
et al., 2014).
ANC is a necessary component of
maternal health in order to identify complications and danger signs during
pregnancy. Regular ANC visits can provide some benefits for the women such as a
strong relationship between women and the health care provider that can result
in reducing complications during pregnancy.
But the question is, are we only
satisfied with the attendance of women to antenatal care or rather how much
knowledge those attending antenatal care have on antenatal services, their
attitude and practices towards antenatal services and how that can reduce
It is different having a good number of
people attending antenatal care and a good number going according to what is
expected of them. The study therefore sought to assess knowledge, attitude and
practices of pregnant women attending antenatal care.