An approach to monitor and initiate community led actions for antenatal care in rural India: a pilot study
Dongre, A.R.; Deshmukh, P.R. and Garg, B.S. (2009) An approach to monitor and initiate community led actions for antenatal care in rural India: a pilot study. Online Journal of Health andAllied Sciences, 8 (2). ISSN 0972-5997
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Background and Objective: Utilization of antenatal care in rural India is far from universal. It requires monitoring and identification of specific needs at field level for timely corrective actions. To pilot test the triangulation of rapid quantitative (Lot Quality Assurance Sampling) and qualitative (Focus Group Discussion) monitoring tools for ensuring antenatal care in a community based program. Methods: The present study was undertaken in surrounding 23 villages of Kasturba Rural Health Training Centre (KRHTC), Anji, which is also a field practice area of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram. The monthly monitoring and action system of the study was based on the rapid quantitative monitoring tool (Lot Quality Assurance Sampling, LQAS)to find out poor performing supervision areas and overall antenatal service coverage and the qualitative methods (Focus group discussions (FGDs), and free listing) for exploring ongoing operational constraints in the processes for timely decision making at program and community level. A trained program supervisor paid house visit to 95 randomly selected pregnant women from 5 supervision areas by using pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire. For poor performing indicators, semi structured FGDs and free listing exercise were undertaken to identify unmet service needs and reasons for its poor performance. Results: Registration of pregnancy within 12 weeks improved from 22.8% to 29.6%. The consumption of 100 or more IFA tablets during pregnancy significantly improved from 6.3% to 17.3%. There was significant improvement in awareness among pregnant women regarding danger signs and symptoms during pregnancy. Over three months period, the overall antenatal registration improved from 253 (67%) to 327 (86.7%). Conclusion: The present field based monitoring and action approach constructively identified the reasons for failures and directed specific collective actions to achieve the targets.
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