The Utilization of Antenatal Care Services among the Pregnant Women in Somalia: A Scoping Review

Kaltun Said Ali1, *, Alauddin Chowdhury ABM2, Christopher O. Aimakhu1, 3
1 Pan African University, Institute of Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 Deprtment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

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© 2023 Ali et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Pan African University, Institute of Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; E-mail:



Women in Somalia suffer from one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The good utilization of antenatal care (ANC) services significantly minimizes maternal and child mortality. The study aimed to identify the utilization of antenatal care services among pregnant women in Somalia.


We performed a scoping review based on the York methodology. This methodology entails a thorough search of published academic articles, conference proceedings, and grey literature via PubMed, Scopus, Google, and Google Scholar, focusing on English-language material.


Findings revealed that a significant number of Somali pregnant women utilize the ANC services, though not to the required number of visits as recommended by the WHO. Financial constraints, poor attitude of the healthcare providers, partner's attitude toward ANC services, lack of accessibility due to ANC services being far away, long waiting times, family matters, lack of awareness or media exposure, gravida, parity, and a good number of them believing that ANC is not necessary for their health were among the reasons given for an inadequate visit or non-utilization of the ANC services.


The motivation to utilize ANC services, the initiation of visits within the early stages of pregnancy, and the completion of the required number of visits during pregnancy are crucial in preventing pregnancy-related issues and reducing maternal mortality. This must be encouraged among Somali women.

Keywords: Antenatal care, Child health, Maternal health, Mothers, Pregnant women, Mortality rate.