DETERMINANTS OF FIRST ANTENATAL CARE VISIT AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING ANC CLINIC IN TENWEK HOSPITAL, BOMET COUNTY, KENYA
KIRUI, KOSITANY HILLARY
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Pregnancy in itself poses a risk of complication to every individual mother carrying it from conception to postnatal period. Therefore antenatal care Clinic (ANC) is recommended to identify these complications early and adequately managed through timely ANC visits. Late attendance of first antenatal visit is a common problem in developing countries making it difficult to achieve the targeted maternal mortality to a ratio below 70 per 100000 live births and newborn death to 12 per 1000 live birth by 2030. This study aimed at investigating determinants of first ANC visit among pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic at Tenwek Hospital. The objectives for this study were; -to explore maternal individual reasons, to explore hospital factors and to investigate maternal cultural beliefs and practices that affect women‟s decision regarding the first antenatal visit. This was a qualitative study that utilized a phenomenological study design to understand the experiences of pregnant women in seeking ANC service. Homogeneous purposive sampling was used to sample mothers coming for initial antenatal care clinic during the current pregnancy. In-depth interviews were used to gather data from the participants. Braun and Clarke framework for thematic analysis was employed for the analysis of data to reach thematic saturation. From the study, it was notable that the results were in line with the objectives that were studied. The following themes were derived from the data: Economic reasons, hospital service provision, fear, cultural Factors and misconceptions about ANC by other women. The study participants seemed not to be well informed of the stage of pregnancy when the initial ANC visit should be made. This study recommends the need for hospital management to provide health education to mothers concerning the importance of ANC attendance and to organize strategies to prevent long queues at the hospital. Further, the community leaders should create awareness through administrative barazas and employ community-owned resource person strategy in following up expectant mothers in the community and motivating them to attend ANC. The community leaders and resource persons need to motivate pregnant women to attend ANC clinics.