Mozambique, within its plan for overall social and economic change, has given priority to primary health care with a principal focus on maternal and child health. In 1980 an antenatal control form was introduced into all Maputo's antenatal clinics to monitor pregnancies and to help direct specialist care to mothers at greatest risk--a strategy known by WHO as the "risk approach." In this study three health centres were selected from contrasting areas of the city. Almost 1000 completed antenatal forms were analysed to determine incidence of risk and to evaluate the implementation of this strategy. It was found that: (1) a considerable number of women at risk were identified, referred, and successfully monitored through their pregnancy. (2) Of those women at risk who were identified by the health centres, fewer than half were actually referred for specialist care. (3) Those women at greatest risk were not the highest users of the services, and many of them underused the services compared with those at lower risk. (4) The level of risk and child mortality varied with a measure of urban quality of the areas in which the centres were located.
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