Ervisa Demollari1, Rudina Çumashi2, Entela Neziri2, Romina Hala2,
1Health Care Services Operator;
2Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: Health care services during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery are important for thesurvival and wellbeing of both the mother and the infant.According to guidelines, a pregnant woman should have at leastfour antenatal visits to reduce the risk of stillbirths and pregnancy complications, and the first visit shouldoccur in the first 8 to 12 weeks of gestation. The aim is to present some data from Albanian demographic and health surveys (ADHS 2008-09 and 2017-18) to compare and overview the access of prenatal care in Albania.
Methodology:Albania Demographic Health Study in Albania (ADHS) is a nationally representative sample survey designed to provide information on population and health issues in Albania.During September 2017- February 18,a second round ofADHSwas conducted,and women age 15-49 who had a live birth in the 5years preceding the survey, were asked for the number of antenatal care (ANC) visits and the time of the first visit.
Results:A large majority of Albanian mothers comply with theseguidelines: 78% of them had four or more antenatal visits, and 82% of them had the first visit in the firsttrimester of pregnancy. Both indicators are higher in urban areas. The proportion who had at least fourantenatal visits is 82% in urban areas compared with 73% in rural areas. Similarly, the proportion who hadthe first visit in the first trimester of gestation is 84% in urban areas but 78% in rural areas.The proportion of women who had at least four ANC visits increased from 67% in 2008-09 to78% in 2017-18. Over the same time period, the proportion of women who received ANC in the firsttrimester of pregnancy increased from 78% to 82%.
Conclusions: Despite the optimistic results from our findings, interventions to strengthen protocol implementation, improve the quality of prenatal services, and enhance educational activities promoting healthy pregnancy and the role of regular controls, should continue.
Keywords: access,ADHS,antenatal care, pregnant women.