Extreme weather events cause large-scale population displacement in Bangladesh. It is important to know how household displacement due to such events might affect women's antenatal care (ANC) service utilization.
In 2017, a cross-sectional household survey was conducted in 25 rural villages in either displacement prone or non–displacement prone areas of Bangladesh. Data were collected from 611 respondents (a woman or her husband) who reported having had a live birth in the past three years; of those, 289 had experienced household displacement due to an extreme weather event. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between experience of household displacement and women's ANC service utilization during their last pregnancy resulting in a live birth.
Eighty-three percent of women had received at least one ANC visit during their last pregnancy resulting in a live birth; of those, 31% received at least four visits with a trained provider. Women from households that had been displaced three or more times were less likely than those from nondisplaced households to have received an ANC visit and at least four visits with a trained provider (odds ratios, 0.3 and 0.4, respectively). Receiving at least four visits with a trained provider was also associated with having previous children (0.3–0.4), age at pregnancy (2.5–3.9), husband's occupation (2.2 for “other”) and joint parental decision-making about ANC visits (1.8).
Strengthening family planning services and extending eligibility for Bangladesh's Maternity Allowance benefits in the areas prone to floods and riverbank erosion are recommended to improve ANC service utilization.
Md. Rabiul Haque is professor, Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nick Parr is professor, and Salut Muhidin is senior lecturer—both in the Department of Management, Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia.