BACKGROUND: Among various interventions to control HIV transmission, prevention of mother-to-child
transmission program have been implemented to offer a range of related services to the women and their infants.
In Ethiopia, although the overall trend of the program coverage has shown improvements over time, studying its
utilization and identifying factors that influence the utilization among pregnant women could have paramount
importance for improving the service by addressing important bottlenecks. The aim of this study was to determine
the utilization of prevention of mother-to-child transmission service and its associated factors among pregnant
women attending public health facilities in Hawassa City, Southern Ethiopia.
METHOD: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant women who visited six public
health facilities for Antenatal Care service. A sample of 588 pregnant women having at least two Antenatal Care
visits were included in the study using a systematic sampling technique. Trained nurses collected the data using the
Amharic version structured questionnaire that was pretested before the actual data collection. The collected data
were entered and analyzed using Epi info version 7.0 and Statistical Package of Social Science version 20 statistical
software respectively. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted and we reported both
crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.
RESULT: Among the study subjects, 531 (90.3%) utilized prevention of mother-to-child transmission service for
their current pregnancy. Pregnant women having only two antenatal care visits were 76% less likely to utilize the
service as compared to pregnant women having three or more antenatal care visits [AOR= 024, 95% CI=0.11,0.53].
Pregnant women who do not support the idea that every pregnant woman should be tested for HIV/AIDS were 91%
less likely to utilize prevention of mother-to-child transmission service as compared to those who support the idea
[AOR= 0.09, 95% CI= 0.03, 0.29]. Finally, pregnant women who don’t know the view of her partner regarding HIV
testing were 96% less likely to utilize the service as compared to pregnant women having a partner who supports
couple counseling [AOR=0.04, 95% CI= 01, 12].
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Nearly all of the study subjects utilized prevention
of mother-to-child transmission service for their current pregnancy. The number of antenatal care visits, the view of
the women on supporting the idea that every pregnant should be tested for HIV and the view of husband regarding
HIV screening were found to be the major predictive factors. Encouraging partner involvement on the importance
of HIV testing could have an important contribution to further improve the utilization of prevention of motherto-
child transmission service. Further studies to document the best practice of the prevention of mother-to-child
transmission service should be undertaken.
KEY WORDS: PMTCT, Utilization, Public Health Facilities, Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia