Worldwide, the practice of focused antenatal as recommended
Worldwide, and typically in
Africa, the period of childbirth brings moments of joy and pride to women,
their families and society. Every mother should be safe throughout delivery, the
postpartum period and beyond. (Morantz-Sanchez, 2005; Baffour-Awuah et al., 2015).
refers to the care that that a pregnant woman receives from the time that
conception is confirmed until the beginning of labour (Team et al.,
2010; Onasoga et al., 2012;
Tsegay et al., 2013). Progress on the trends of the use
of antenatal care has been seen in developing countries during the 1990s.
In certain health facilities
in Ghana and other health facilities in Ghana, the practice of focused
antenatal as recommended by WHO is being implemented. Focused antenatal care is an approach to ANC
that emphasizes: individualized care, client centered, fewer but comprehensive
visits, disease detection not risk classification and care by a skilled
provider (Kinzie and Gomez, 2004).
care services provided in many parts of the world fail to meet the standards that
WHO requires (WHO,
2003; Unicef, 2007). In Sub-Saharan
Africa, use of antenatal care has hardly changed over the past 10 years,
although levels are high compared to Asia. A number of challenges that women
in developing countries face such as financial constraints, poor road network,
lack of transport facilities, shortage of health workers and prevent them from
accessing available obstetric facilities.
2007; Lee et al., 2009; Chang et al., 2010; Moyer et al., 2014)Moreover, the outcome
of pregnancy depends on many factors including the health and age, nutritional
status, prior pregnancy history and the spacing between the mother’s previous
birth, as well as her education and ability to access health services. More
importantly, risk factors for maternal
mortality are low educational level, increased parity and age below 20 or above
2007; Gonzales et al., 2009;
Karlsen et al., 2011).
Most life-threatening obstetric complications can be
prevented through antenatal care. There is ample evidence that care during
pregnancy is an important opportunity to deliver interventions that will
improve maternal health and survival during the period immediately preceding
and after childbirth (Maine and Rosenfield, 1999; WHO, 2006; Kerber et al., 2007). Also, if the antenatal period is
used to tell pregnant women about danger signs and symptoms and about the risks
of labour and delivery, it may provide the route for ensuring that they deliver
with the assistance of a skilled health care provider. A vital way to connect a woman
with the health system is through antenatal care which if functioning, will be
critical for saving the woman’s life in order to prevent any complication.