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01.12.2016 | Research Article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 1/2016

Boosting antenatal care attendance and number of hospital deliveries among pregnant women in rural communities: a community initiative in Ghana based on mobile phones applications and portable ultrasound scans

Zeitschrift:
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth > Ausgabe 1/2016
Autoren:
Benjamin Amoah, Evelyn A. Anto, Prince K. Osei, Kojo Pieterson, Alessandro Crimi
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AC and PKO were involved in the design and implementation of the study. BA and EAA carried out the field work, data management, analysis, interpretation of the data, and writing of the manuscript. KP took care of the sonography and other clinical aspects. All authors have read and approved of the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

The World Health Organization has recommended at least four antenatal care (ANC) visits and skilled attendants at birth. Most pregnant women in rural communities in low-income countries do not achieve the minimum recommended visits and deliver without skilled attendants. With the aim of increasing number of ANC visits, reducing home deliveries, and supplementing care given by ANC clinics, a proposed system based on low-cost mobile phones and portable ultrasound scan machines was piloted.

Methods

A sample of 323 pregnant women from four rural communities in the Central Region of Ghana were followed within a 11-month project. In each community, at least one health worker was trained and equipped with a mobile phone to promote ANC and hospital deliveries in her own community. If women cannot attend ANC, technicians acquired scans by using portable ultrasound machines in her community directly and sent them almost in real time to be analyzed by a gynecologist in an urban hospital. A preliminary survey to assess ANC status preceding the pilot study was conducted. During this, one hundred women who had had pregnancies within five years prior to the study were interviewed.

Results

The preliminary survey showed that women who attended ANC were less likely to have a miscarriage and more likely to have delivery at hospital or clinic than those who did not, and women who attained at least four ANC visits were less likely to practice self-medication. Among the women involved in the project, 40 gave birth during the period of observation. The proposed prenatal care approach showed that 62.5 % of pregnant women who gave birth during the observation period included in the project (n=40) had their labor attended in clinics or hospitals as against 37.5 % among the cases reported in the pre-survey. One case of ectopic and two cases of breech pregnancies were detected during the pilot through the proposed approach, and appropriate medical interventions were sought.

Conclusion

Our results show that the proposed prenatal care approach can make quality ANC accessible in rural communities where pregnant women have not been able to access proper ANC.
Literatur
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