Evaluation of Antenatal Services in a Primary Health Care Setting in Baghdad


Abstract:Background: Health program evaluation is considered to be one of the scopes of the health system, which is regarded as a scientific method for acquiring information that can be used as an effective tool for health development. Objectives: This study was an attempt to assess the quality of antenatal care provided to women during pregnancy.Design: The study was carried out in thirty-one primary health care centers in Baghdad. The data was collected either through antenatal records review or through antenatal client exit interview. During the period from the 1st of March to the 30th of June 2002, 1860 antenatal records were reviewed for the year preceding the study (1/1/2001- 31/12/2001) and 318 clients were interviewed.Results: The results of antenatal records review showed that the average number of antenatal visits reported were 3 visits (range 1-13) and most of the clients had started antenatal care during the second or third trimester. The overall coverage of various antenatal care activities was good, but still there is a room for improvement.Conclusion: From this study we conclude that the attendance for the first antenatal visits showed a pattern of late arrival and most of the clients had made less than the recommended number of visits and there was a shortage in the provision of certain laboratory tests, particularly VDRL test kits in all primary health care centers studied. Several actions were suggested to improve the current situation.Key words; Evaluation, Antenatal care, PHC