Investigating factors contributing to late initiation of antenatal care in a health facility in Cape Town
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Despite the awareness of the importance of initiating antenatal care in the first trimester of a pregnancy (before 12 weeks gestation), late initiation of antenatal care (on or after 24 weeks of gestation) remains a common trend amongst pregnant women. The late initiation of antenatal care poses such a risk, to both the pregnant women and their unborn babies that it can contribute to maternal and foetal mortality and morbidity. The late initiation of antenatal care, an entirely avoidable occurrence, has an impact on targets set by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), now focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG‟s) set out by the United Nations. This study aim to investigate the factors which contribute to and cause the late initiation of antenatal care in pregnant women in a region in the Western Cape. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that influence pregnant woman and contribute to late initiation of antenatal care (after 24 weeks gestational age) in one health facility/district in Cape Town. The findings of the study identified possible factors that may cause pregnant women to initiate antenatal care late in pregnancy and these findings could facilitate planning and possible interventions targeting the importance of early initiation in the community.