Home » Ghana’s new antenatal care model reduces maternal deaths and improves pregnancy outcomes.

Ghana’s new antenatal care model reduces maternal deaths and improves pregnancy outcomes.

Innovative Group Antenatal Care and Delivery Model Revolutionizes Maternal Health in Ghana

by Motoni Olodun

A new antenatal care (ANC) model involving group sessions and storytelling has been shown to reduce maternal mortality and improve pregnancy outcomes in Ghana.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) piloted the model, known as the group antenatal care and delivery (GRAND), in collaboration with the University of Michigan, USA. The project’s findings ended this month and were presented at a workshop in Accra on Wednesday.

According to the project leaders, GRAND improved pregnant women’s health literacy and health-seeking behavior, increasing access to ANC, facility delivery, and better personal care. The model also promoted respectful maternity care and peer support among the women.

GRAND is based on a principle where pregnant women are placed into small groups of 10 to 14 with similar gestational ages for a detailed discussion on the dos, don’ts, and warning signs in pregnancy. A midwife conducting individual assessments and tests for each woman facilitates the groups.

The project was implemented in seven rural health facilities in the Eastern Region, serving predominantly low-literacy and non-literate pregnant women. The project reached over 2,000 women and recorded no maternal deaths among the participants.

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said in a speech read on his behalf that GRAND was a low-cost but highly effective alternative to standard ANC models. He said ANC was a proven way of ensuring birth preparedness and readiness for complications. It could be pivotal in ensuring positive pregnancy outcomes for both mothers and their newborns.

Professor Jody Lori of the University of Michigan and Dr. John Williams from the Dodowa Health Research Center, who were the project’s principal investigators, said GRAND was designed to address the gaps in health literacy and quality of care that contributed to high maternal mortality in Ghana.

They said GRAND was aligned with the global strategy for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health, which calls for innovative approaches to improve health outcomes. They also said GRAND could be scaled and adapted to other contexts and settings.

Group ANC models have been implemented in various countries, such as Kenya, Nigeria, India and the USA, with positive results. A systematic review of providers’ experiences facilitating group ANC found it was a rewarding and satisfying way of delivering care that benefited both women and providers.

Source: Graphic Online

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