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The use of antenatal and postnatal care : perspectives and experiences of women and health care providers in rural southern Tanzania

Mrisho, M. and Obrist, B. and Schellenberg, J. A. and Haws, R. A. and Mushi, A. K. and Mshinda, H. and Tanner, M. and Schellenberg, D.. (2009) The use of antenatal and postnatal care : perspectives and experiences of women and health care providers in rural southern Tanzania. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, Vol. 9 , 10.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5843357

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although antenatal care coverage in Tanzania is high, worrying gaps exist in terms of its quality and ability to prevent, diagnose or treat complications. Moreover, much less is known about the utilisation of postnatal care, by which we mean the care of mother and baby that begins one hour after the delivery until six weeks after childbirth. We describe the perspectives and experiences of women and health care providers on the use of antenatal and postnatal services. METHODS: From March 2007 to January 2008, we conducted in-depth interviews with health care providers and village based informants in 8 villages of Lindi Rural and Tandahimba districts in southern Tanzania. Eight focus group discussions were also conducted with women who had babies younger than one year and pregnant women. The discussion guide included information about timing of antenatal and postnatal services, perceptions of the rationale and importance of antenatal and postnatal care, barriers to utilisation and suggestions for improvement. RESULTS: Women were generally positive about both antenatal and postnatal care. Among common reasons mentioned for late initiation of antenatal care was to avoid having to make several visits to the clinic. Other concerns included fear of encountering wild animals on the way to the clinic as well as lack of money. Fear of caesarean section was reported as a factor hindering intrapartum care-seeking from hospitals. Despite the perceived benefits of postnatal care for children, there was a total lack of postnatal care for the mothers. Shortages of staff, equipment and supplies were common complaints in the community. CONCLUSION: Efforts to improve antenatal and postnatal care should focus on addressing geographical and economic access while striving to make services more culturally sensitive. Antenatal and postnatal care can offer important opportunities for linking the health system and the community by encouraging women to deliver with a skille attendant. Addressing staff shortages through expanding training opportunities and incentives to health care providers and developing postnatal care guidelines are key steps to improve maternal and newborn health
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Former Units within Swiss TPH > Health Systems and Policies (de Savigny)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Health Interventions > Malaria Interventions (Lengeler)
UniBasel Contributors:Obrist van Eeuwijk, Brigit and Tanner, Marcel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2393
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:19
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 06:55

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