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      Use of antenatal services and delivery care among women in rural western Kenya: a community based survey

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          Improving maternal health is one of the UN Millennium Development Goals. We assessed provision and use of antenatal services and delivery care among women in rural Kenya to determine whether women were receiving appropriate care.


          Population-based cross-sectional survey among women who had recently delivered.


          Of 635 participants, 90% visited the antenatal clinic (ANC) at least once during their last pregnancy (median number of visits 4). Most women (64%) first visited the ANC in the third trimester; a perceived lack of quality in the ANC was associated with a late first ANC visit (Odds ratio [OR] 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0–2.4). Women who did not visit an ANC were more likely to have < 8 years of education (adjusted OR [AOR] 3.0, 95% CI 1.5–6.0), and a low socio-economic status (SES) (AOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5–5.3). The ANC provision of abdominal palpation, tetanus vaccination and weight measurement were high (>90%), but provision of other services was low, e.g. malaria prevention (21%), iron (53%) and folate (44%) supplementation, syphilis testing (19.4%) and health talks (14.4%). Eighty percent of women delivered outside a health facility; among these, traditional birth attendants assisted 42%, laypersons assisted 36%, while 22% received no assistance. Factors significantly associated with giving birth outside a health facility included: age ≥ 30 years, parity ≥ 5, low SES, < 8 years of education, and > 1 hour walking distance from the health facility. Women who delivered unassisted were more likely to be of parity ≥ 5 (AOR 5.7, 95% CI 2.8–11.6).


          In this rural area, usage of the ANC was high, but this opportunity to deliver important health services was not fully utilized. Use of professional delivery services was low, and almost 1 out of 5 women delivered unassisted. There is an urgent need to improve this dangerous situation.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data--or tears: an application to educational enrollments in states of India.

          Using data from India, we estimate the relationship between household wealth and children's school enrollment. We proxy wealth by constructing a linear index from asset ownership indicators, using principal-components analysis to derive weights. In Indian data this index is robust to the assets included, and produces internally coherent results. State-level results correspond well to independent data on per capita output and poverty. To validate the method and to show that the asset index predicts enrollments as accurately as expenditures, or more so, we use data sets from Indonesia, Pakistan, and Nepal that contain information on both expenditures and assets. The results show large, variable wealth gaps in children's enrollment across Indian states. On average a "rich" child is 31 percentage points more likely to be enrolled than a "poor" child, but this gap varies from only 4.6 percentage points in Kerala to 38.2 in Uttar Pradesh and 42.6 in Bihar.
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            WHO systematic review of randomised controlled trials of routine antenatal care.

            There is a lack of strong evidence on the effectiveness of the content, frequency, and timing of visits in standard antenatal-care programmes. We undertook a systematic review of randomised trials assessing the effectiveness of different models of antenatal care. The main hypothesis was that a model with a lower number of antenatal visits, with or without goal-oriented components, would be as effective as the standard antenatal-care model in terms of clinical outcomes, perceived satisfaction, and costs. The interventions compared were the provision of a lower number of antenatal visits (new model) and a standard antenatal-visits programme. The selected outcomes were pre-eclampsia, urinary-tract infection, postpartum anaemia, maternal mortality, low birthweight, and perinatal mortality. We also selected measures of women's satisfaction with care and cost-effectiveness. This review drew on the search strategy developed for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. Seven eligible randomised controlled trials were identified. 57418 women participated in these studies: 30799 in the new-model groups (29870 with outcome data) and 26619 in the standard-model groups (25821 with outcome data). There was no clinically differential effect of the reduced number of antenatal visits when the results were pooled for pre-eclampsia (typical odds ratio 0.91 [95% CI 0.66-1.26]), urinary-tract infection (0.93 [0.79-1.10]). postpartum anaemia (1.01), maternal mortality (0.91 [0.55-1.51]), or low birthweight (1.04 [0.93-1.17]). The rates of perinatal mortality were similar, although the rarity of the outcome did not allow formal statistical equivalence to be attained. Some dissatisfaction with care, particularly among women in more developed countries, was observed with the new model. The cost of the new model was equal to or less than that of the standard model. A model with a reduced number of antenatal visits, with or without goal-oriented components, could be introduced into clinical practice without risk to mother or baby, but some degree of dissatisfaction by the mother could be expected. Lower costs can be achieved.
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              WHO antenatal care randomised trial for the evaluation of a new model of routine antenatal care.

              We undertook a multicentre randomised controlled trial that compared the standard model of antenatal care with a new model that emphasises actions known to be effective in improving maternal or neonatal outcomes and has fewer clinic visits. Clinics in Argentina, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand were randomly allocated to provide either the new model (27 clinics) or the standard model currently in use (26 clinics). All women presenting for antenatal care at these clinics over an average of 18 months were enrolled. Women enrolled in clinics offering the new model were classified on the basis of history of obstetric and clinical conditions. Those who did not require further specific assessment or treatment were offered the basic component of the new model, and those deemed at higher risk received the usual care for their conditions; however, all were included in the new-model group for the analyses, which were by intention to treat. The primary outcomes were low birthweight (<2500 g), pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, severe postpartum anaemia (<90 g/L haemoglobin), and treated urinary-tract infection. There was an assessment of quality of care and an economic evaluation. Women attending clinics assigned the new model (n=12568) had a median of five visits compared with eight within the standard model (n=11958). More women in the new model than in the standard model were referred to higher levels of care (13.4% vs 7.3%), but rates of hospital admission, diagnosis, and length of stay were similar. The groups had similar rates of low birthweight (new model 7.68% vs standard model 7.14%; stratified rate difference 0.96 [95% CI -0.01 to 1.92]), postpartum anaemia (7.59% vs 8.67%; 0.32), and urinary-tract infection (5.95% vs 7.41%; -0.42 [-1.65 to 0.80]). For pre-eclampsia/eclampsia the rate was slightly higher in the new model (1.69% vs 1.38%; 0.21 [-0.25 to 0.67]). Adjustment by several confounding variables did not modify this pattern. There were negligible differences between groups for several secondary outcomes. Women and providers in both groups were, in general, satisfied with the care received, although some women assigned the new model expressed concern about the timing of visits. There was no cost increase, and in some settings the new model decreased cost. Provision of routine antenatal care by the new model seems not to affect maternal and perinatal outcomes. It could be implemented without major resistance from women and providers and may reduce cost.

                Author and article information

                Reprod Health
                Reproductive Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                6 April 2006
                : 3
                : 2
                [1 ]University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
                [2 ]Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Vector Biology and Control Research, Kisumu, Kenya
                [3 ]Global AIDS Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
                [4 ]Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
                Copyright © 2006 van Eijk et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Obstetrics & Gynecology


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