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Keywords:

  • antenatal care;
  • Basic Antenatal Care programme;
  • challenges;
  • midwife;
  • pregnancy

Aim

The aim of the study was to investigate the challenges experienced by midwives during the implementation of the Basic Antenatal Care programme.

Background

The National Department of Health recommended that all primary health care facilities in South Africa start to implement the Basic Antenatal Care programme by the end of 2008. In her work as coordinator of the Maternal Child and Women's Health programme for the eThekwini Municipality, the researcher observed the slow progress in implementation of the programme in the eThekwini district.

Method

A descriptive qualitative design using questionnaires was used to assess the challenges being experienced by midwives during the implementation of the programme.

Results

The challenges identified included: shortage of staff, lack of cooperation from referral hospitals, lack of in-service training, problems with transportation of specimens to laboratories, lack of material resources, unavailability of Basic Antenatal Care programme guidelines and lack of management support.

Conclusion

The challenges were the possible cause of the slow progress in the implementation of the programme.

Implications for nursing management

The successful implementation of the new programme is dependent on support and guidance offered by the nurse manager to the staff at operational level. The manager should monitor and develop strategies to address and overcome challenges that hinder implementation of the Basic Antenatal Care programme.