With increased community dialogue and engagements by PICOT, antenatal care services have improved in Koboko District.
Between January and March there were at least 2,349 antenatal care (ANC) visits in the above mentioned health Centre IIIs of our operation but only 480 of the mothers delivered in the health facilities. This indicates that many women deliver at homes thus exposing themselves and their babies to fatal conditions. Most mothers believe that they are being harassed, slow services delivered to them, poverty which is making them not afford baby clothes, lack of emotional and material support by male counterparts, and other utilities which are requirements for mothers as they deliver in the facilities. Apart from these community concerns, there are health system challenges and poor social determinants of health which slow the improvement of women’s and children’s health: difficult access to quality services coupled with bad road networks, shortage of trained and motivated healthcare professionals and shortage of essential drugs and medicine.
A healthy mother, baby and nation shouldn’t only be a community health concern but everybody’s; therefore issues of ANC shouldn’t be considered as matters of choice or just left to the discretion of individuals or family head but rather should concern all actors the formal and informal. In the quarter (April to June), PICOT conducted engagement meetings and radio programs with communities and duty bearers to deliberate on key issues including the ANC, male involvement, staffing, etc and a good response is being noticed.