countries with high fertility rate, maternal mortality ratio, death a woman
faces every time she becomes pregnant and the cumulative risk of maternal death
over a lifetime may be as high as one in 16, compared to one in 3,800 in the
countries of the developed world (Otieno;
UNICEF, 2000; Adu-Mensah, 2011; Richie, 2015).
About 529,000 women
die yearly from complications of
pregnancy and childbirth globally. Ninety-nine per cent (99%) of these maternal
deaths occur in the developing world and one per cent (1%) in the developed
countries. This number is based on calculations by Zahr et al. (2004).
to ANC will reduce this lifetime risk in women. (de
Bernis et al, 2003; Zahr et al., 2004). Maternal mortality rates are very high in Ghana, that
is, 230 per 100,000 live births (Gyimah et al., 2006; GHS, 2013).
The pattern of
causes of maternal deaths as estimated by WHO shows that Haemorrhage (24.8%) infection
(14.9%), unsafe abortion (12.9%), eclampsia (12.9%) and obstructed labor (6.9%)
are the leading causes of maternal mortality as estimated by WHO. 19.8% is
however, attributed to indirect causes such as malaria, hepatitis, anaemia etc (Strand,
2005; Canavan, 2008; Adu-Mensah, 2011).
Lack of access to essential obstetrical care is a crucial
factor that contributes to high maternal mortality. Providing skilled
attendants is able to prevent, direct and manage the major obstetric
complications like haemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labour etc. In addition,
providing equipment, drugs and other supplies essential for the management of
these complications is the single most important factor in preventing maternal
As part of efforts in attaining the fifth Millennium
Development Goal – which calls for improving maternal health, with a target of
reducing maternal mortality ratio by three – quarters, between 1990 and 2015 –
there is the need for all pregnant women to have access to antenatal care in
pregnancy. Basic antenatal care components are effective means to prevent a
range of pregnancy complications and reduce maternal mortality (Pallikadavath
et al., 2004).
Pregnant women receiving prenatal care in Ghana was 90.50% as of 2014.
Its highest value over the past 26 years was 96.40% in 2011, while its lowest
value was 82.40% in 1988 (Anchang-Kimbi et al., 2014; Kawakatsu et al., 2014).
ANC is a necessary component of maternal health in order to identify
complications and danger signs during pregnancy. Regular ANC visits can provide
some benefits for the women such as a strong relationship between women and the
health care provider that can result in reducing complications during
the question is, are we only satisfied with the attendance of women to
antenatal care or rather how much knowledge those attending antenatal care have
on antenatal services, their attitude and practices towards antenatal services
and how that can reduce maternal mortality.
is different having a good number of people attending antenatal care and a good
number going according to what is expected of them. The study therefore sought
to assess knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women attending