A framework for a new approach to antenatal care (ANC) is presented to improve maternal health. Based on evaluations of ANC, safe motherhood programs, gender and social theory, it suggests that managers should draw upon existing family and community support systems, and develop partnerships beyond the health service. Policy and program changes are required in: professional mandates for ANC providers, organization of ANC services, service protocols, training programs, policy towards TBAs, referral care, and service support systems.
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