This is a technical brief on the theme of health service delivery, that draws on the results and lessons learned from the PRRINN-MNCH programme. This particular brief focuses on reducing the gap between uptake of antenatal care and skilled attendance at birth. The key messages are:
Targeted strategies are helping to improve the gap between receiving antenatal care and the presence of a skilled birth attendant at birth.
- In Northern Nigeria, only 41% of pregnant women have any antenatal care (ANC) and as few as 12% deliver with the assistance of a skilled birth attendant (SBA).
- Births with SBAs are safer, and efforts by PRRINN-MNCH to increase these numbers have been extremely successful with a 14-fold increase in annual ANC numbers and an almost nine-fold increase in deliveries with SBAs between 2008 and 2013.
- Household surveys show the gap between ANC and delivery with an SBA is narrowing, albeit slowly.
- Targeted strategies to address barriers to SBA use can accelerate progress and improve the quality of ANC by ensuring necessary equipment and drugs are in place, reducing the cost to families and obtaining support from men in the community.