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In 2001, the World Health Organization issued guidance on a new model of antenatal care (ANC) called goal-oriented or focused antenatal care (FANC), for implementation in developing countries. The new model reduces the number of required antenatal visits to four, and provides focused services shown to improve maternal outcomes. FANC emphasizes helping women maintain normal pregnancies by identifying existing health conditions, detecting emerging complications, promoting health, preparing for a healthy birth, and educating clients on postpartum care including nutrition, breastfeeding, and family planning. Trials conducted in Argentina, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand proved that FANC was safe and was a more sustainable, comprehensive, and effective ANC model. In response to this evidence, several countries in sub-Saharan Africa moved to adapt FANC as a way of promoting the health and survival of mothers and babies. However, the feasibility of implementing the FANC approach in this setting and the changes in policy and program requirements needed are not well understood. This brief describes findings from operations research conducted by the FRONTIERS program to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of implementing FANC in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health