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OUTREACH CLINIC SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS: AN IMPORTANT MEANS OF IMPROVING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH SERVICES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Outreach Services is a planned and regular visit by health professionals with the objective of bringing health services closer to the people who have no regular access to health care especially obstetric, infant and children cares. This is because access to healthcare in rural areas of developing countries of the world remains challenging especially among the vulnerable groups such as women of child-bearing age and their children, as well as other vulnerable groups that live
in hard-to-reach regions. This paper discussed outreach clinic services and the importance in maternal and child health (MCH). The paper looked into the concept of outreach clinics, nature of MCH services in Nigeria and other developing
countries and finally the importance of outreach clinic to MCH. Outreach clinic services are well planned and organized health care services rendered to the rural and underserved population who have no regular access to health care. It is seen as a key strategy for the provision of MCH care to the hard-to-reach and vulnerable group in the rural areas.
Pregnant women in the rural areas are more in number than their urban counterparts and most of these women do not receive adequate antenatal and postnatal care, hence higher rates of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality are recorded. In Nigeria as an example, there is lack of skilled healthcare workers in rural areas and this is linked with poor
maternal and infant health status. Outreach clinic services help in the provision of obstetric care services to mothers and children in the rural areas as well as vitamin A supplementation, family planning education, growth monitoring and immunization. It also helps to reduce costs and travelling inconveniences encountered by these women. If well organized and regularly carried out, outreach clinic programmes will be cost effective, provide active surveillance, and help to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rates in Nigeria and other developing countries.

  • OBI | Ihuoma | Anthonia | ladyihuomaobi@gmail.com | +2348035980988
  • : Outreach Clinic Services, Rural Areas, Maternal and Child Health
  • OBI Ihuoma Vol 9 (1)
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