A study to better understand under-utilization of laboratory tests for antenatal care in Senegal
Anna Helena van’t Hoog,
Ahmad Iyane Sow and
PLOS ONE, 2020, vol. 15, issue 1, 1-17
Objective: To better understand factors contributing to underutilization of laboratory services for health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, we conducted a study in Senegalese Antenatal Care clinics (ANC) and laboratories to determine the extent of underutilization, contributing factors, and bottlenecks in the cascade of care from first ANC visit, test uptake, to availability of test results and appropriate clinical management. Methods: At 16 health facilities, pregnant women attending for their first ANC visit were consecutively recruited and information was prospectively collected on the request, execution, results and clinical management of seven nationally recommended laboratory screening tests for normal pregnancy: hemoglobin concentration (Hb), syphilis serology, HIV serology, determination of proteinuria (PU), determination of blood group and Rhesus factor, Emmel test to detect sickle cell disease, and glycaemia. Health facility staff were interviewed on human resource capacity, management of the ANC and the laboratory, and availability and use of guidelines. Results: Of 1246 ANC attendants, 400 (32%) had complete results. Completeness varied between facilities from 0–99%. In multilevel logistic regression analysis of women nested in facilities, complete uptake was lower if women started ANC later in pregnancy; very low in rural ANC attendants who ever delivered compared to urban primigravidae (OR 0.064; 95%CI 0.00–0.52); and higher if the facility routinely recommended all seven tests. In the cascade from test request to clinical management, the most frequent bottleneck was non-execution of requested tests, while unavailability of results for executed test was uncommon (
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