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Improving access to and utilization of maternal health services through focused prenatal care in rural Ghana: a qualitative study

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Improving access to and utilization of various maternal health services is seen as a panacea for maternal and child health problems in many developing countries. About fifteen years ago, the focus on prenatal care (fanc) replaced the conventional prenatal care model. This study attempts to document the empirical results of how the fanc method transforms the access and utilization of maternal health services into positive maternal health outcomes. We used descriptive qualitative design and analysis. We used the key insider interview method to collect data from 206 respondents, including 140 women of childbearing age and 66 health workers in 14 communities in the study area. We found that fanc has been widely implemented in the whole region, most of whichrequired services integrated into the existing healthcare delivery system. Overall, there has been successful implementation of FANC in the district, resulting in several benefits including the increased utilization of maternal healthcare services, acceptance of family planning, increased skilled delivery, and utilization of postnatal care (PNC) services. This notwithstanding, a number of issues need to be addressed to improve FANC services. These include provision of adequate infrastructure, essential supplies, communication and transportation systems, and manpower and adoption of positive sociocultural practices. No effort should be spared in providing these to sustain the successes and ensure sustainability of FANC.

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