Antenatal care and opportunities for quality improvement of service provision in resource limited settings: A mixed methods study

Andrea Solnes Miltenburg*, Lisette van der Eem, Elias C Nyanza, Sandra van Pelt, Pendo Ndaki, Namanya Basinda, Johanne Sundby

*Corresponding author for this work

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Antenatal care is essential to improve maternal and newborn health and wellbeing. The majority of pregnant women in Tanzania attend at least one visit. Since implementation of the focused antenatal care model, quality of care assessments have mostly focused on utilization and coverage of routine interventions for antenatal care. This study aims to assess the quality of antenatal care provision from a holistic perspective in a rural district in Tanzania. Structure, process and outcome components of quality are explored. This paper reports on data collected over several periods from 2012 to 2015 through facility audits of supplies and services, ANC observations and exit interviews with pregnant women. Additional qualitative methods were used such as interviews, focus group observations and participant observations. Findings indicate variable performance of routine ANC services, partly explained by insufficient resources. Poor performance was also observed for appropriate history taking, attention for client's wellbeing, basic physical examination and adequate counseling and education. Achieving quality improvement for ANC requires increased attention for the process of care provision beyond coverage, including attention for response-based services, which should be assessed based on locally determined criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0188279
Pages (from-to)e0188279
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2017


  • Journal Article

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