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Factors Contributing to the Late Commencement of Antenatal Care at a Rural District Hospital in Lesotho

Thandiwe Marethabile Letsie and Matjeko Lenka

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 5, 32

Abstract: Antenatal care (ANC) is a key approach aimed at improving maternal and infant health. Numerous factors are associated with late commencement of antenatal care. Sub-Saharan Africa countries are exception to the problem of late commencement of antenatal care. The qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual approach was followed. The pregnant women meeting the inclusion criteria, were above 16 weeks and attended antenatal care at the time of the study. Different authorities granted permission to conduct face-to-face, unstructured in-depth interviews. Tesch approach enabled the qualitative researchers to immerse themselves through systematic organization and synthesis of data to create manageable units. an independent co-coder also analyzed data independently. Afterwards, they met and agreed on specific themes and sub-categories. The following five themes emerged; personal and family factors, cultural beliefs and practices, health systems and poor infrastructure. Measures aimed at improving accessibility to the health centers include; road infrastructure, telecommunication and more client centered services. Improvement of early commencement of antenatal services becomes an ideal approach influencing excellent maternal and neonatal outcomes. Therefore, government initiatives aimed at empowering communities on the benefits of commencing antenatal care on time is necessary.

Date: 2021
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