Pastoralist women’s use of antenatal care service in Afar, Ethiopia
Pastoralists’ use of health services in Ethiopia is not well documented. Agrarian women’s use of maternal health services has proven to be effective in reducing the mortality of mothers. In early 2015, a study on “Pastoralism and antenatal care service utilization in Dubti District, Afar, Ethiopia”, published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice (2016 6:15), was made among 788 women in the district. It was found that 42% made at least one ANC visit, while 20% adequately used ANC (i.e. made 4 or more visits). ANC use in peri-urban areas was twice that in the rural areas. Pastoralist lifestyles, access, demographic and socio-cultural barriers affect proper use of maternal health services. Increasing service coverage and promotion of available services in the community, accessible health services, transportation and improving information, education, and communication on maternal health services must be intensified to reach women in pastoralist communities.