FANC is gaining much popularity because of its effectiveness in terms of reducing maternal and perinatal mortality (deaths) and morbidity (disease, disorder or disability). 'Peri' means 'around the time of', so perinatal means around the time of birth. Perinatal mortality refers to the total number of stillbirths (babies born dead after the 28th week of gestation) plus the total number of neonates (newborns) who die in the first 7 days of life. The perinatal mortality rate is the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths that occur in every 1000 live births, and is an internationally recognised measure of the quality of antenatal care.
What is the definition of the maternal mortality ratio (MMR)? (You learned this in Study Session 1 of this Module.)
MMR is the total number of women dying from complications due to pregnancy or childbirth in every 100,000 live births.
FANC is the best approach for resource-limited countries where health professionals are few and health infrastructures are limited. In particular, the majority of pregnant women can't afford the cost incurred by the frequent antenatal visits required by the traditional antenatal care approach. From the logistical and financial point of view, the traditional approach is not practical for the majority of pregnant women and is a burden on the healthcare system. As a result, many developing countries, including Ethiopia, are adopting the FANC approach.