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Improving practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness

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Improving practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness

Tuesday, Aug 5
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2 years 45 weeks ago

To: The Children and Equity network within The Communication Initiative

In their paper Improving Maternal Health Practices in Four Countries: Insights and Lessons Learned, drawing on research supported by DFID in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and South Sudan, BBC Media Action observe that:

"There is considerable scope for programming to help improve practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness. In all four countries the majority of women interviewed failed to attend the recommended four antenatal check-ups...." Improved practices might include increasing available knowledge, as well as discussion, around antenatal care and birth preparedness. Discussion can often influence uptake of these practices and is more effective when women and key decision-makers in families are included or women are sharing advice or experiences among peers.

Do you agree with that analysis? Does strategic and programming action around knowledge, discussion, in particular when women are engaged with their peers, raise the numbers of women attending four antenatal check-ups? Should more strategy and programming action focus on knowledge and discussion?

To share and debate your perspectives on this theme from the BBC Media Action paper please either reply by email or Click Read More below and contribute on the platform.

Re: [Children and Equity] Improving practices around antenatal c

To: The Children and Equity network within The Communication Initiative

Ranjani K Murthy comments below on Improving practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness. To add your perspectives, ideas and questions please either reply by email or click Read More below and comment online. Thank you

Dear friends

I am just back from an evaluation of MCH project in Jharkahand, India. ANC care and institutional delivery have improved, but yet the target of four ANC remains elusive, as well as 100% institutional delivery. Malnutrition has declined. The improvement is because of:

  • NGO-government collaboration in developing IEC for neo-literates

  • attempts to reach mothers in law, mothers and fathers through IEC

  • training of government health workers on technical as well as gender issues

  • strengthening of government's health infrastructure- BeMOC

  • strengthening of nutritional programme for pregnant mothers and children in 0-6 years - including attaching nutritional centers to community health centers

Why full ANC and institutional delivery is yet to be reached:

  • intra-household decision making does not prioritise four ANCs

  • Auxillary Nurse Midwives are absent during festival seasons, and at times do not stay in health sub centers close to the village

  • roads where hilly tribes live are bad and government ambulance does not always reach on time

  • difficulty in predicting time of delivery, and the baby is born at homes with traditional midwives.

  • there is no place where mothers can stay near health center till baby arrives

More later

Ranjani

Re: [Children and Equity] Improving practices around antenatal c

To: The Children and Equity network within The Communication Initiative

Mohuya Chaudhuri - New Delhi Television comments below on Improving practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness.

Dear all,

While I agree with the analysis, I would like to add that along with increasing awareness through knowledge sharing and discussions to improve behaviour and practives, I think we need to address other issues like quality of services as well. A lot of women in rural India do not go for antenatal check ups after the first one because often health providers are not available or when they are, women are treated badly and made to wait for long hours. The other key issue is distance. Pregnant women have to travel very far to get themselves checked so they prefer to stay home. Along with sharing advice and experience, these issues need to be addressed as well.

Mohuya Chaudhuri

To add your perspectives, ideas and questions please either reply by email or click Read More below and comment online. Thank you

Re: [Children and Equity] Improving practices around antenatal c

To: The Children and Equity network within The Communication Initiative

Elsie Alexander - University of Botswana comments below on Improving practices around antenatal care and birth preparedness sharing her assessment of Botswana's policy and action. Please do join this dialogue on a very important issue. Share your insights and analysis with the 5,000 people in this network. Either simply reply by email. Or Click the Read More link below and comment online. Thank you.

Greetings, accessible and affordable maternal health facilities and services  are important to improving maternal health practices as well as contribute to decreasing the maternal and child mortality rates in developing countries. Botswana has a impressive health and education indicators because there has been remarkable investment in the provision of health and education facilities and services. Information, education and communication was an integral component of the primary healthcare system. A multi - sectoral  and decentralised health care policy and strategy is critical.

Botswana is a best practice as the country has managed to provide health services and facilities within an average of 8km from a health facility. Further, improvements in access to medical human resources at village and community levels has improved health indicators. For instance, over 90 per cent of children have been immunized against the vital children's diseases, over 70 percent of women use ante natal and post natal services.

The major challenge in the last two decades has been the negative impact of the HIV pandemic on the achievements in the education and health sector. This pandemic increased rates of maternal and child mortality. The introduction of the PMTCT and a proactive IEC strategy has stabilized the situation and contributed to a decrease in infant, child and maternal mortality.

I agree with the analysis that improved maternal health practices through focused programming and localized and relevant information ad education contributes to improved access and use of ante natal and post natal services. It should be noted that you need a multi - sectoral and  decentralized approach to health care provision to maintain and sustain positive health indicators. The Botswana experience has demonstrated that improved health care also depends on sustainable health care services and programs to promote sustainable development.

Elsie Alexander - University of Botswana

Children and Equity
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