ANC: NGO Enrol 309,751 Pregnant Women in Kaduna

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP), on Wednesday said, it has enrolled 309,751 pregnant women on Antenatal Care (ANC) through her, Group Antenatal Care Project (G-ANC), in Kaduna state as part of efforts to ensure better pregnancy experience and outcome for women.

A factsheet presented to government and other stakeholders in the state, during a dissemination meeting in Kaduna, shows that the project trained 1,428 healthcare workers as G-ANC facilitators.

The project also formed 23,220 cohorts of pregnant women in 485 facilities across all 23 Local Government Areas in the state.

The goal of the Group-ANC project intervention is to improve the uptake and quality of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) services, including prevention, detection and treatment of malaria in pregnancy.

G-ANC is an intervention, that bring women together at the facility. They take care of themselves in groups rather than individuals. Unlike the traditional model where health care completely give instructions to patients, in G-ANC model, the patients themselves are taught how to take care of themselves, become responsible for their health and share experiences with themselves, check their vital signs and look out for warning signs in pregnancy

The project which was implemented between January 2020 and April 2022, according to the Coordinator, Abiola Ajibola, was aimed to increase the proportion of women achieving a minimum of 8 ANC contacts by 25% of baseline which was 4 ANC, through the G-ANC intervention across select Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC).

According to her, it was meant to increase uptake of 4 or more doses of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in pregnancy using Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) among pregnant women enrolled into G-ANC.

Increase skilled birth attendance by 20% from baseline among pregnant women enrolled into G-ANC and also increase number of health facility-based deliveries among pregnant women enrolled into G-ANC by 20% from the 13.7% baseline.

The project was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through TAConnect in partnership with the Kaduna State Government.

Earlier in her remarks, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed Baloni, commended CIHP for providing technical assistance to the state by training facilitators at the PHC level in the uptake of ANC and elimination of still birth.

She said the the outcome of the G-ANC intervention have justified its adoption as a policy for a model of care that would significantly reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Kaduna State.

“Looking at the desk review at inception, in comparison to the end of grant indices, over 309,751 pregnant women were enrolled in the G-ANC intervention in 23,220 cohorts, and the proportion of women booked at gestational age less than 20 weeks rose from 11% to 30%.

“Women completing ANC 4 increased from 26 to 44%. Facility delivery in Kaduna State rose from 73,563 to 102,571 (28.3% increase) with over 90,000 deliveries by skilled birth attendants. Proportion of ANC Mothers that returned to the health facility within 72 hours after delivery for Post Natal Care (PNC) improved from 29 to 82%. Mothers that take up family planning methods immediately after delivery (Post-Partum Family Planning), had had a 148% increase from 11% to 2 post implementation.” The commissioner added in a close-out newsletter for the event.

In her message, Chief Executive Officer of CIHP, Dr. Bolanie Oyeledun, noted that one of the greatest challenges in Nigeria related to maternal health which is determined by quality of service women receive when pregnant is access to healthcare and the diet the pregnant women is placed on, which she said determines the outcome of the pregnancy, with significant impact on her health as well.

She said Kaduna state accepted G-ANC for implementation outrightly for three main reasons; “it was a proven concept, furthermore, we needed a strategy to readily implement the recommended eight (8) prenatal visits, as well as to improve our skilled birth attendance significantly, with the aim of having a ripple effect to a significant reduction in maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

“We were able to develop tools and SOPs and put systems in place for effective project implementation.

“Whenever we feel disheartened, whenever progress seems too slow, whenever seems the challenges are too large, we must remind ourselves of what we are working for, improving maternal and child health. The onus is on us to ensure no woman dies at childbirth, no infant born without access to full healthcare.” She added.

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