Incountries with high fertility rate, maternal mortality ratio, death a womanfaces every time she becomes pregnant and the cumulative risk of maternal deathover a lifetime may be as high as one in 16, compared to one in 3,800 in thecountries of the developed world (Otieno;UNICEF, 2000; Adu-Mensah, 2011; Richie, 2015).About 529,000 womendie yearly from complications ofpregnancy and childbirth globally. Ninety-nine per cent (99%) of these maternaldeaths occur in the developing world and one per cent (1%) in the developedcountries. This number is based on calculations by Zahr et al. (2004). Accessibilityto ANC will reduce this lifetime risk in women.
(deBernis et al, 2003; Zahr et al., 2004). Maternal mortality rates are very high in Ghana, thatis, 230 per 100,000 live births (Gyimah et al.
, 2006; GHS, 2013). The pattern ofcauses 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% ishowever, 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 crucialfactor that contributes to high maternal mortality. Providing skilledattendants is able to prevent, direct and manage the major obstetriccomplications like haemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labour etc. In addition,providing equipment, drugs and other supplies essential for the management ofthese complications is the single most important factor in preventing maternaldeaths. As part of efforts in attaining the fifth MillenniumDevelopment Goal – which calls for improving maternal health, with a target ofreducing maternal mortality ratio by three – quarters, between 1990 and 2015 -there is the need for all pregnant women to have access to antenatal care inpregnancy.
Basic antenatal care components are effective means to prevent arange of pregnancy complications and reduce maternal mortality (Pallikadavathet 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 lowestvalue 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 identifycomplications and danger signs during pregnancy. Regular ANC visits can providesome benefits for the women such as a strong relationship between women and thehealth care provider that can result in reducing complications duringpregnancy. Butthe question is, are we only satisfied with the attendance of women toantenatal care or rather how much knowledge those attending antenatal care haveon antenatal services, their attitude and practices towards antenatal servicesand how that can reduce maternal mortality.
Itis different having a good number of people attending antenatal care and a goodnumber going according to what is expected of them. The study therefore soughtto assess knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women attendingantenatal care.