The antenatal period is an important time for reaching women with intrventions and information that foster their health, well-being and survival - and that of their infants.
Although 67 per cent of women in West and Central Africa receive antenatal care at least once, this average masks wide variations in coverage, from 39 per cent of women in Chad to 99 per cent in Cape Verde. Only 44 per cent of women in the region receive antenatal care the recommended minimum of four times. The widest differential is in Burkina Faso, where 85 per cent of women are seen at least once, but only 18 per cent are seen four times or more.
Antenatal care, an overlooked, yet key service to improve the health of mothers.
Preventing maternal and newborn morbidity and pregnancy and childbirth complications
In 2007, an estimated 11 per cent of HIV-positive pregnant women in West and Central Africa received antiretroviral therapy to prevent transmission of HIV to their children.
UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend a minimum of four antenatal care visits during pregnancy, the minimum needed to provide the most important servces, which can include treatment of hypertension to prevent eclampsia, tetanus immunization, intermittent preventive treatment for malaria and distribution of insecticide-treated nets, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, micronutrient supplementation, and birth preparedness, including information about danger signs during pregnancy and childbirth.
Photo Essay | Reportage photos
Sierra Leone : one of the riskiest place to give birth in the world | Sierra Leone: un pays dangereux pour donner la vie (en anglais)
[View photo essay]
•The State of the World's Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health | La situation des enfants dans le monde 2009: Mortalité maternelle et néonatale
•Progress for Children 7: a report card on maternal mortality | Progrès pour les enfants 7: bilan statistique sur la mortalité maternelle
•Countdown to 2015: Report 2008
Related links | Liens utiles