PERCEPTION AND SATISFACTION OF WOMEN TOWARDS THE QUALITY OF ANTENATAL CARE SERVICES IN NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL NNEWI
1.1 Background of the Study
Antenatal care refers to the care that is given to a pregnant women woman from the time that conception is confirmed until the beginning of labour. This is also viewed as an important point of contact between health workers and women and an opportunity for provision of health education including how to detect pregnancy complications and development of a birth plan to ensure delivery at a health facility. The purpose of antenatal care is to monitor and improve the wellbeing of the mother and the foetus, for this reason the benefits of antenatal care cannot be over emphasized. Antenatal care is one of the important measures used in reducing maternal morbidity.Moreover, antenatal isa type of preventive healthcare, with the goal of providing regular checkups that allow doctors and midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy while promoting healthy lifestyles that benefit mother and child.
The concept of antenatal care (ANC) as an effective public health strategy is credited to the dramatic improvements in maternal and prenatal outcomes witnessed in Europe in the last century,butthe impact of antenatal care in these settings has not recorded the desired results. Whereas acceptance of antenatal care in industrialized countries is near universal, in developing countries, the uptake is less, and a large proportion of women deliver outside the health care system. About 63.6% of Nigerian mothers receive antenatal care, while trained personnel attend 41.6% of births. Consequently, high maternal mortality figures and rising perinatal mortality rates are the norm (Fawole, Okunlola&Adekunle, 2008).Nwaeze, Enabor, oluwasola and Aimakhu (2013) further reported that the proportion of Nigerian women that receive antenatal care and those that are delivered by skilled birth attendants have however remained far from acceptance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2015 thataround 830 women died every day from problems in pregnancy and childbirth. The WHO recommends that pregnant women should all receive 4 antenatal visits to spot and treat problems and give immunization. Although antenatal care is important for improving the health of the mother and the baby, Nigeria unfortunately is among the countries worst hit by maternal death challenges. According to the World Health organization (WHO, 2007) report, Nigeria is the 2nd in the world after India in terms of maternal and infant deaths. The international community has committed to improving maternal health by 2015 with millennium development goal number 5, which aims to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and reach universal access to reproductive health care. According to WHO, a maternal mortality ratio in 2013 was estimated to be 230 per 100,000 live births in developing countries to 16 per 100,000 live births in developed countries. Even with this commitment, many countries have failed to implement effective programs to reduce maternal morbidity and women continue to suffer from the complications of pregnancy and childbirth.