From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
A fact-sheet by Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP) has revealed that the centre enrolled 309,751 pregnant women on its Group Antenatal Care (G-ANC) project in 485 selected health facilities across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna state.
Coordinator of the project, Abiola Ajibola, noted that he project which was implementethe d between January 2020 and April 2022, was aimed to increase the proportion of women achieving a minimum of eight antenatal care contacts by 25% of baseline of four antenatal through the G-ANC intervention across select Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC).
Abiola, who spoke during the official presentation of fact-sheet to the state government through the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the state added that the project trained 1,428 healthcare workers as G-ANC facilitators, formed 23,220 cohorts of pregnant women in the state to make the idea seamless and sustainable.
According to her, the goal of the Group-ANC project intervention was to improve the uptake and quality of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) services, including prevention, detection and treatment of malaria in pregnancy.
She further clarified that the intervention was meant to increase uptake of four or more doses of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in pregnancy using Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) among pregnant women enrolled into G-ANC.
Commissioner for Health in the State, Dr. Amina Mohammed Baloni, commended CIHP for providing technical assistance to the state by training facilitators at the PHC level in the uptake of antenatal care and elimination of still birth.
“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.