Utilization of PMTCT Services among Pregnant Women in Western Amhara Region

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Ethiopia is one of the countries hard-hit by HIV/AIDS. Amhara region has the largest proportion of HIV positive women, HIV positive live births and AIDS orphans. PMTCT programs are starting to be launched in many health facilities of the country. Thus it is imperative to study the utilization of the services by pregnant women to ensure programme effectiveness. Objectives: - The objective of this study was in general to determine the level of utilization of PMTCT program in western Amhara region and specifically to determine the level of antenatal VCT service utilization, to examine factors influencing acceptance of voluntary HIV counseling by pregnant women; and to explore client preferences and suggestions on PMTCT program implementation by which acceptance may be increased. Methodology: - A health facility based cross sectional survey was conducted using structured questionnaire among 452 pregnant women following antenatal care (ANC) at selected facilities of west Amhara region between April and June 2006. Four focus group discussions (among pregnant women not following ANC for the current pregnancy and spouses of pregnant women) and eight in-depth interviews (among traditional birth attendants and counselors) were conducted. Results: - Response rate was 98%. Three-hundred and four (67.3%) of the respondents had under gone the process of voluntary counseling and testing for HIV. Two hundred eighty-nine (97.6%) of them were tested for HIV and 274 (94.8%) of those who were tested received the test result. Of all the socio-demographic variables, education was positively associated with acceptance of ANC counseling (AOR (95% CI) for formal schooling Vs no formal schooling = 3.67 (1.56, 8.61)) while being a rural women and being a farmer were associated with less likelihood of undergoing HIV counseling in ANC [AOR (95%C.I.)= 0.22 (0.14, 0.35) and 0.44 (0.22, 0.98] respectively). Correct knowledge with respect to transmission of HIV during labor and that it can be prevented by chemotherapy were associated with higher likely hood of using PMTCT services. The main barriers for utilization of PMTCT services identified were incorrect perceptions regarding HIV/AIDS and stigma by husband, family and community. Conclusion: Based on the findings Community based education and sensitization targeted to women, increasing access of women to VCT, promoting PMTCT to all facilities caring for women in the catchments areas is recommended Key words: Pregnant women, PMTCT, VCT, HIV/AIDS, ANC, Ethiopia



Pregnant women, PMTCT, VCT, HIV/AIDS, ANC