Rwanda has been selected alongside 3 other countries to champion the implementation of the new World Health Organisation Antenatal Care guidelines.
Basing on a readiness criteria, WHO selected Rwanda, BurkinaFaso, India and Malawi as the pilot countries for the new ANC guidelines.
The new WHO Antenatal Care guidelines aim to create a momentum for countries to re-design health systems to provide pregnant women with respectful, individualized, person-centered care at every contact with implementation
of effective clinical practices (interventions and tests), provision of relevant timely information and psychosocial and emotional support by practitioners with good clinical and interpersonal skills within a well-functioning health system.
WHO recommends a minimum of eight contacts during pregnancy: one contact in the first trimester, two contacts in the second trimester and five contacts in the third trimester.
According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba, the WHO recommendations are a way to improve maternal health in Rwanda while bridging gaps.
“This area is dear to us, Antenatal Care visits are critical to positive outcomes of a pregnancy and a way to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
Through increased antenatal care contacts, we can overcome gaps in Family planning uptake while pregnant women get the desired improved services,” said Dr. Gashumba.
In order to adhere to the new WHO guidelines, national stakeholders in the health sector held a two days meeting to
assess the Antenatal guidelines and work on a model to facilitate implementation from 13-14 August 2018.
The meeting purposed to standardize the adaptation of the Antenatal Care model to deliver quality pregnancy care in
Rwanda based on the new WHO recommendations.
The meeting shared the WHO recommendations on Antenatal
Care, discussed the preliminary findings of the ANC situation analysis, and developed a specific ANC model to
deliver quality pregnancy care in Rwanda and developed a country roadmap for the adoption and implementation of the proposed ANC model.
“We have discussed solutions to address gaps that hinder effective antenatal Care, these include the geographical
distance,” said a WHO official.