Utilization of antenatal care services in Syrian refugee camps in Erbil, Iraq
Background and Objective: Antenatal care can help in preparing women for delivery in addition to raising awareness about the warning signs during pregnancy. This study aimed to assess the pattern of utilization of antenatal care services by the pregnant women in Syrian refugee camps in Erbil.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the four Syrian refugee camps in Erbil between 1st June 2015 and 1st March 2016. A sample of 470 newly delivered women was included in the study. Data was collected through a specially designed questionnaire.
Results: The majority of the women (99.6%) had at least one antenatal care visit during pregnancy with 73.6% having adequate antenatal care visits. About 64% of the women visited both the public and private health sectors. A statistically significant higher proportion of employed women utilized adequate antenatal care services than the non-employed women (84% vs. 63.4%, P = 0.036). There was no statistically significant association between the mothers' age and education with the utilization of adequate antenatal care.
Conclusion: A high proportion of women in the Syrian refugee camps in Erbil received antenatal care services during the last pregnancy with a relatively important proportion of them receiving adequate care and having early initiation of antenatal care visits. Further studies are needed to examine the quality of the antenatal care services in the refugee camps and women’s satisfaction with these services.
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