Quality and uptake of antenatal and postnatal care in Haiti
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Quality and uptake of antenatal and postnatal care in Haiti

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
    • Description:

      Despite improvement, maternal mortality in Haiti remains high at 359/100,000 live births. Improving access to high quality antenatal and postnatal care has been shown to reduce maternal mortality and improve newborn outcomes. Little is known regarding the quality and uptake of antenatal and postnatal care among Haitian women.


      Exit interviews were conducted with all pregnant and postpartum women seeking care from large health facilities (n = 10) in the Nord and Nord-Est department and communes of St. Marc, Verrettes, and Petite Rivière in Haiti over the study period (March-April 2015; 3–4 days/facility). Standard questions related to demographics, previous pregnancies, current pregnancy, and services/satisfaction during the visit were asked. Total number of antenatal visits were abstracted from charts of recently delivered women (n = 1141). Provider knowledge assessments were completed by antenatal and postnatal care providers (n = 39). Frequencies were calculated for descriptive variables and multivariable logistic regression was used to explore predictors of receiving 5 out of 10 counseling messages among pregnant women.


      Among 894 pregnant women seeking antenatal care, most reported receiving standard clinical service components during their visit (97% were weighed, 80% had fetal heart tones checked), however fewer reported receiving recommended counseling messages (44% counselled on danger signs, 33% on postpartum family planning). Far fewer women were seeking postnatal care (n = 63) and similar service patterns were reported. Forty-three percent of pregnant women report receiving at least 5 out of 10 counseling messages. Pregnant women on a repeat visit and women with greater educational attainment had greater odds of reporting having received 5 out of 10 counseling messages (2nd visit: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] =1.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09–2.66; 5+ visit: aOR = 5.44, 95% CI: 2.91–10.16; elementary school certificate: aOR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.17–3.63; finished secondary school or more aOR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.05–3.02). Chart reviews indicate 27% of women completed a single antenatal visit and 36% completed the recommended 4 visits.


      Antenatal and postnatal care uptake in Haiti is sub-optimal. Despite frequent reports of provision of standard service components, counseling messages are low. Consistent provision of standardized counseling messages with regular provider trainings is recommended to improve quality and uptake of care in Haiti.

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