Factors influencing successful implementation of basic ante natal care programme in primary health care clinics in eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal
Ngxongo, Thembelihle Sylvia Patience
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Background South Africa is burdened by consistently high maternal and perinatal mortality rates. In a move to alleviate this burden the South African National Department of Health (DoH) instructed the adoption of the Basic Antenatal Care (BANC) approach in all antenatal care (ANC) facilities. Whereas many facilities have begun the implementation of the BANC approach, in the eThekwini district, not all of the facilities have been successful in doing so. The study was conducted in those eThekwini Municipality Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities that have been successful in order to identify the factors influencing their success in implementing BANC. Methods The facilities that had been successful in implementing BANC were identified, followed by a review of the past records of the patients who had completed their ANC and had given birth. This was done in order to establish whether the facilities that were said to be implementing BANC, were in fact, following BANC guidelines. The factors that influenced successful implementation of BANC were identified based on information obtained from the midwives who were working in the ANC facilities that were successfully implementing BANC. The sample size was comprised of 18 PHC facilities that were successfully implementing BANC from which a total of 59 midwives were used as the study participants. Results Several positive factors that influenced successful implementation of BANC were identified. These factors included; availability and accessibility of BANC services: Policies, Guidelines and Protocol; various means of communication; a comprehensive iii package of services and the integration of services; training and in-service education; human and material resources and the support and supervision offered to the midwives by the PHC supervisors. Other factors included BANC programme supervisors’ understanding of the programme and the levels of experience of midwives involved in implementation of BANC. There were, however, certain challenges and negative factors that were identified and these included: shortage of staff; lack of cooperation from referral hospitals; lack of in-service training; problems in transporting specimens to the laboratory; lack of material resources; lack of management support and the unavailability of BANC guidelines.