Determinants of demand for antenatal care in Colombia
Even though antenatal care is universally regarded as important, determinants of demand for antenatal care have not been widely studied. Evidence concerning which and how socioeconomic conditions influence whether a pregnant woman attends or not at least one antenatal consultation or how these factors affect the absences to antenatal consultations is very limited. In order to generate this evidence, a two-stage analysis was performed with data from the Demographic and Health Survey carried out by Profamilia in Colombia during 2005. The first stage was run as a logit model showing the marginal effects on the probability of attending the first visit and an ordinary least squares model was performed for the second stage. It was found that mothers living in the pacific region as well as young mothers seem to have a lower probability of attending the first visit but these factors are not related to the number of absences to antenatal consultation once the first visit has been achieved. The effect of health insurance was surprising because of the differing effects that the health insurers showed. Some familiar and personal conditions such as willingness to have the last children and number of previous children, demonstrated to be important in the determination of demand. The effect of mother´s educational attainment was proved as important whereas the father´s educational achievement was not. This paper provides some elements for policy making in order to increase the demand inducement of antenatal care, as well as stimulating research on demand for specific issues on health.
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