Date of Conferral
In spite of a decrease globally, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Nigeria and its
Jigawa State has remained persistently high. Few efforts to address the MMR in Nigeria have been undertaken. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Jigawa State's Free Maternal and Child Health Program (JSFMCHP), education, employment, and parity of pregnant women on health care utilization (the outcome variable), as measured by antenatal care (ANC) visits. Anderson's behavioral model served as the study's theoretical framework. The sample size included 400 antenatal records of pregnant women who were randomly selected from the state's Health Management and Information data collected between 2011 and 2015. Chi-square tests showed a significant association between those who did not participate in the JSFMCHP, education, employment, with ANC. There was no association between parity and the number of ANC visits. The odds ratio suggested that pregnant women who did not participate in the program were 5.53 times as likely to have 4 or more visits compared to those who participated. Furthermore, the recommended number (4 or more) of ANC visits was predicted by tertiary education and employment. This study's findings indicate the need for a reevaluation of JSFMCHP policy, with a focus on ensuring a minimum recommended number of ANC visits for all program participants. These results can influence positive social change if used by policy makers to strengthen policies that have a beneficial impact on maternal morbidity and mortality in Jigawa State, in particular, and Nigeria, in general.