29 August 2021
WHO recommendation on task shifting components of antenatal care delivery
1. Task shifting the promotion of health-related behaviours for maternal and newborn health ad to a broad range of cadres, including lay health workers, auxiliary nurses, nurses, midwives and doctors is recommended.
2. Task shifting the distribution of recommended nutritional supplements and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) for malaria prevention to a broad range of cadres, including auxiliary nurses, nurses, midwives and doctors is recommended.
First published: November 2016
Updated: No update planned
Assessed as up-to-date: November 2016
The ANC recommendations are intended to inform the development of relevant health-care policies and clinical protocols. These recommendations were developed in accordance with the methods described in the WHO handbook for guideline development (3). In summary, the process included: identification of priority questions and outcomes, retrieval of evidence, assessment and synthesis of the evidence, formulation of recommendations, and planning for the implementation, dissemination, impact evaluation and updating of the guideline.
The quality of the scientific evidence underpinning the recommendations was graded using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) (4) and Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (GRADE-CERQual) (5) approaches, for quantitative and qualitative evidence, respectively. Up-to-date systematic reviews were used to prepare evidence profiles for priority questions. The DECIDE (Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to support Informed Decisions and Practice based on Evidence) (6) framework, an evidence-to-decision tool that includes intervention effects, values, resources, equity, acceptability and feasibility criteria, was used to guide the formulation and approval of recommendations by the Guideline Development Group (GDG) – an international group of experts assembled for the purpose of developing this guideline – at three Technical Consultations between October 2015 and March 2016.
To ensure that each recommendation is correctly understood and applied in practice, the context of all context-specific recommendations is clearly stated within each recommendation, and the contributing experts provided additional remarks where needed.
In accordance with WHO guideline development standards, these recommendations will be reviewed and updated following the identification of new evidence, with major reviews and updates at least every five years.
Further information on procedures for developing this recommendation are available here.
For this recommendation, we aimed to answer the following question:
Further information and considerations related to these recommendations can be found in the WHO guidelines, available at:
The GDG did not identify any priority question related to this recommendation.
WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience
Citation: WHO Reproductive Health Library. WHO recommendation on task shifting components of antenatal care delivery. (November 2016). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization.
Citation: Whitworth M, Quenby S, Cockerill RO, Dowswell T. Specialised antenatal clinics for women with a pregnancy at high riskof preterm birth (excluding multiple pregnancy) to improve maternal and infant outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD006760. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006760.pub2.Read Article
Citation: Catling CJ, Medley N, Foureur M, Ryan C, Leap N, Teate A, Homer CSE. Group versus conventional antenatal care for women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD007622. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007622.pub3.Read Article