Ministry of Health has released new guidelines for antenatal visits starting next year.
In the new guidelines, expectant mothers will make 8 antenatal visit rather than 4 which they have been making.
Dr Placid Mihayo, the Ministry’s Head of Reproductive Health says the number of visits has been increased because of many cases of still births and other pregnancy issues that come up which can be avoided if followed up.
“The Ministry has decided to set new guidelines so that they can curb premature births and deaths that often occur due to limited integration between the health workers and expectant mothers” he said.
The World Health Organization in 2016 recommended Uganda to increase its number of antenatal visits from 4 to more aiming at increasing the access of expectant mothers t health care providers.
Reports from the Uganda Demographic and Heath Survey show that 97 percent of expectant mothers attend at least one antenatal clinic during their pregnancy while 60 percent of them visit a health facility a minimum of 4 times.
“In the new guidelines, expectant mothers will be expected to attend antenatal during the first four months of pregnancy so that they can be attend all the eight visits”.
When an expectant mother goes for antenatal vests, health workers tests their blood to get their HIV status and blood group then they are also weighed and their family history is recorded.
Expectant mothers are also prescribed tablets such as folic acid and fansidar to fight anemia and malaria during their pregnancy time.