International Research Journal of Public and Environmental Health






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Zainab Mohammed Al-Balushi



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Original Research Article

Timing, frequency and the contents of antenatal care visits among mothers in Oman: An assessment of the level of alignment with the WHO recommended guidelines

M. Mazharul Islam1* and Zainab Mohammed Al-Balushi1


1Department of Statistics, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 36, PC 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

* Corresponding Author E-mail: mmazhar.islam(at)yahoo.com; mislam(at)squ.edu.om

ORCID ID: 0000 – 0001 – 6261 – 5500

M. Mazharul Islam

Zainab Mohammed Al-Balushi


Article Number: irjpeh.21.015  |   Pages: 117-127  |   Vol. 8 (2), March 2021   |   DOI: https://doi.org/10.15739/irjpeh.21.015

 Received: December 27, 2020  Accepted: February 4, 2021  Published: February 12, 2021

Abstract

Although Oman has a very good maternal health care system, little is known about the pattern of utilization of antenatal care (ANC) services in the country in accordance with the WHO guidelines for early initiation of an ANC visit, the optimum frequency of visits by the ANC and the core content of ANC services. This study looked at the timing of the first ANC visit, the frequency and the content of ANC visits to Oman and assessed the level of alignment with the recommended WHO guidelines for ANC services. Data were obtained from the 2008 Oman National Reproductive Health Survey (ONRHS), which included a nationally representative sample of ever-married women of reproductive age. Information from 2,220 married women aged 15-49 years who had a live birth within five years of the date of the survey was used for analysis. Descriptive, inferential and multiple logistic regression techniques have been used for data analysis using SPSS. The analysis revealed universal (98%) use of at least one ANC visit to Oman. Approximately 75% of mothers initiated ANC in the first trimester and 73% of mothers received the recommended 8 or more ANC visits. On average, the mothers received nine visits to the ANC. Approximately 71% of mothers received all prescribed core components of ANC services. Counseling about danger sign was the least received item (72%). Early initiation appeared as significant predictor for receiving more ANC visit and more components of ANC services. Visiting physicians rather than nurses promote higher frequency of visits to the ANC. Age of mothers, parity, level of education, area of residence, status of contraceptive use appeared to be important predictors of initiation and frequent ANC visits. While Oman has achieved a strong level of compliance with the guidelines recommended by the WHO on the early initiation of ANC visits, the optimal frequency (i.e. at least eight) of ANC visits, and all the components prescribed for ANC services, the country is still lagging behind in achieving universal coverage of all of these services. Efficient policies and services need to be properly prepared to resolve the predictors of early initiation and frequency of ANC visits, such as the age of mothers, parity, level of education, area of residence, contraceptive usage status and timing of initiation of ANC visits, in order to ensure full compliance with the prescribed guidelines in Oman.

Keywords:

Antenatal care visit, timing, frequency, components, WHO recommendation, Oman

How to Cite this Article

Islam MM Al-Balushi ZM (2021). Timing, frequency and the contents of antenatal care visits among mothers in Oman: An assessment of the level of alignment with the WHO recommended guidelines. Int. Res. J. Pub Environ. Health. 8 (2):117-127.

Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.


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