Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Antenatal care


Many health problems in pregnant women can be prevented, detected and treated during antenatal care visits with trained health workers. WHO recommends a minimum of four antenatal visits, comprising interventions such as tetanus toxoid vaccination, screening and treatment for infections, and identification of warning signs during pregnancy.

Globally, during the period 2005–2012, about 55% of pregnant women attended the recommended minimum four times antenatal care. The proportion of pregnant women in developing countries who attended at least four antenatal care visit has increased from approximately37% in 1990 to about 50% in 2011 but, in low-income countries, only 37% of pregnant women attended four times or more antenatal care during 2005-2012. Trend data on the proportion of women attending at least four times antenatal care are not available for all countries. However, available data indicate that there has been little improvement in this indicator in the past decade. Moreover, the indicator does not reflect upon the quality of care provided.