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DSPR NECC in a partnership with EME introduced a Preconception Care (PCC) program in 2017 as an important component of the maternal health care and was fully integrated within the primary health care system.

The main goal of the programme is to protect and promote the health of Palestinian women, children and families by providing preconception, pre-natal, post-natal and family planning services. The program is congruent with SDGs aiming to reduce maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate in primary health care activities, and to prevent and detect any deviation from the normal pattern of pregnancy by maintaining a regular system of health care monitoring and supervision.

This approach is designed to strengthen the provision of high-quality antenatal care services at the NECC primary health care premises. Already NECC provides ANC services but the challenge is to promote the provision of timely, high quality ANC care according to the approved national protocols including early booking and registration, introducing the preconception care (counselling and Folic Acid supplementation), and to promote appropriate nutritional status of (pregnant women through appropriate counselling, supplementation and follow up.

Mothers’ knowledge about pregnancy its antecedents and consequences are limited and requires further reinforcement especially knowledge about danger signs of pregnancy, labor and postpartum affecting mothers and fetus/infant. This program aims at improving the health status, and reducing behaviors, individual and environmental factors that contribute to poor maternal and child health outcomes. Its ultimate aim is to improve maternal and child health, in both the short and long term. Preconception care is to prepare women of reproductive age to enter pregnancy in an optimal health status. Women are assessed for risk factors, screened for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, anemia, oral health diseases, given folic acid supplementation to prevent congenital malformation – in particular neural tube defects - and are provided with medical care where relevant.

Preconception care services became an integral component of NECC health program and services and were operational and fully implemented at NECC clinics. The preconception care program is now part of the maternal health care and fully integrated within the NECC primary health care.

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