Quality of antenatal care and client satisfaction in Kenya and Namibia

Int J Qual Health Care. 2017 Apr 1;29(2):183-193. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzx001.


Objective: Despite much progress in maternal health service coverage, the quality of care has not seen parallel improvement. This study assessed the quality of antenatal care (ANC), an entry point to the health system for many women.

Design: The study used data from recent Service Provision Assessment (SPA) surveys of nationally representative health facilities in Kenya and Namibia.

Setting: Kenya and Namibia represent the situation in much of sub-Saharan Africa, where ANC is relatively common but maternal mortality remains high.

Participants: The SPA comprised an inventory of health facilities that provided ANC, interviews with ANC providers and clients, and observations of service delivery.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Quality was measured in terms of structure and process of service provision, and client satisfaction as the outcome of service provision.

Results: Wide variations in structural and process attributes of quality of care existed in both Kenya and Namibia; however, better structural quality did not translate to better service delivery process or greater client satisfaction. Long waiting time was a common problem and was generally more serious in hospitals and health centers than in clinics and smaller facilities; it was consistently associated with lower client satisfaction. The study also indicates that the provider's technical preparedness may not be sufficient to provide good-quality services and to ensure client satisfaction.

Conclusions: Findings highlight important program implications, including improving ANC services and promoting their use at health clinics and lower-level facilities, and ensuring that available supplies and equipment are used for service provision.

Keywords: Kenya; Namibia; antenatal care; client satisfaction; quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Facilities / standards
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Namibia
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce