Primary Health Care Corporation's (PHCC) maternal health programme for pregnant women is constantly evolving based on the required global standards, as handbooks have been incorporated into the programme with a view to providing the highest level of service in all health centres along with plans to expand pre-natal services.
The maternal health programme provides healthcare for women, according to the programme's handbooks, from the beginning of the pregnancy, including assessment of the situation, early examination of risk factors, continuous follow-up and healthcare within 6 and 8 visits to the centre and then transfer stable and low risk cases in week 34 of pregnancy to the hospital for follow-up and evaluation to ensure a minimum risk of childbirth based on a joint agreement between PHCC and Hamad Women's Hospital.
Last year, the maternal health programme received more than 15,000 pregnant women in various PHCC health centres for follow-up, counselling and assessment services and to evaluate the health status of pregnant women and the foetus.
Manager of Maternal and Child Health at PHCC Dr Hessa Shahbic stated that the maternal health programme is an educational health programme focusing on women's health in pregnancy and post-natal period, and on continuous assessment, health education and early detection of any occurring causes affecting the health of a mother for prompt and appropriate remedial support as these are considered to be sensitive to the mother's health and her baby's health as well.
She said that a dedicated team provides evaluation of the mother's physical and psychological state, determines the appropriate support required to help her overcome health challenges post pregnancy and childbirth.
The service also promotes breastfeeding, and provides the most appropriate birth spacing corresponding with the mother's need.
Dr Shahbic further emphasised the importance of the services provided as part of the maternal health programme, as daily life practices have a direct impact on maternal health and foetal development in pregnancy and post-natal period, which many mothers are unaware of, adding that health awareness of good life practices is important to ensure better health for the mother and her foetus.
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