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Evaluation of the structure of seven family health units to provide prenatal care on nutrition in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Roberta Pereira Niquini Sonia Azevedo Bittencourt Elisa Maria de Aquino Lacerda Cláudia Saunders Maria do Carmo Leal About the authors

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the extent to which seven family health units in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro are equipped to provide prenatal care on nutrition. METHODS: a cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008. Seven family health units were selected and their structure was observed directly. Seven health workers and 230 pregnant women were interviewed at these units. The building structure, material resources, referral system, human resources and norms and routines were examined at each unit. RESULTS: direct observation and the interviews with the health workers ascertained that all the units had a suitable building structure and material resources. The norm that was least commonly complied with was the preventive maintenance of scales. The Ministry of Health's current prenatal card was found to have been implemented for 45% of the pregnant women. Access to ferrous sulfate and folic acid were reported by around 70% of pregnant women. There was found to be a shortfall in human resources and in referral of pregnant women to nutritionists. CONCLUSIONS: the study points out the importance of ensuring the minimum team size and installing Family Health Support Unites, when expanding the scope and improving the integration of prenatal care.

Prenatal care; Health evaluation; Structure of services; Family health program

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