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Antenatal Care Profile Tests: Ensuring a healthy pregnancy

Antenatal Care Profile Test

Introduction to Antenatal Care Profile

The Antenatal Care Profile refers to a number of laboratory tests performed during pregnancy. They form part of a comprehensive package of care for pregnant women aimed at ensuring a healthy pregnancy and newborn.

Why are Antenatal Care Profile tests done?

  • Monitor the health of the mother and the unborn baby through the pregnancy
  • Diagnose and manage transmissible diseases.
  • Identify any complications and intervene early
  • Promote the health of the mother and the fetus.
  • Prevent both maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
  • Screen for inheritable diseases and advice the mother /family accordingly.
  • Determine the mother’s blood group to detect Rh-negative status.

When are Antenatal Care Profile Tests done?

In Kenya, ANC tests should ideally be done earliest during pregnancy, within the first and second visit. Otherwise, the next best time is the first contact with a healthcare provider at any time during the pregnancy.

Components of ANC profiles.

In Kenya, the basic ANC profile constitutes the following:-

Antenatal  profile Page from mother-child booklet
Antenatal profile Page from mother-child booklet

Typical ANC Profile Test List
(click on Highlighted link to read more details about the test)

  1. Hemoglobin levels
  2. Syphilis (VDRL)
  3. HIV Test
  4. Blood glucose level
  5. Urine analysis
  6. TB screening
  7. ABO/Rh Blood Group Typing.

It’s important to note this panel is for the bare minimum in public hospital settings. Additional tests may be necessary on a case-by-case basis. Other countries include more sophisticated tests as part of a routine panel.

Where are ANC Profile tests done in Kenya?

The ANC profile tests are widely available within the public, private hospitals and stand-alone laboratories in Kenya. A directory of laboratories in Kenya can be found here.

Client/ Patient preparation

The pregnant woman should be counseled on the importance of the tests and informed consent obtained. This is usually done by a nurse in the ANC clinic.

How are ANC Profile Tests Performed?

The collection of samples depends on the specific test( see above). More details about each test can be found here. Most ANC profiles tests can be performed during 2 or 3  clinic visits.

How The Tests Are Interpreted?

Each test is interpreted according to set reference values. If a test is found to be abnormal, the pregnant woman is referred to the clinician for further evaluation and care.

Challenges of ANC Profile Tests in Kenya

  1. Cost – Some of the tests are not available in public hospitals and have to be paid for out of pocket in private laboratories
  2. Non-attendance of ANC clinic. Almost 40% of pregnant women in Kenya do not attend ANC clinics.
  3. Limited panel of tests. The number of tests in the national program is quite limited. There is a need to expand to cater to prevalent diseases eg hepatitis B and hereditary disorders eg sickle cell disease.
  4. Inaccessibility. Some folks live in inaccessible areas, especially in the Northern and coastal areas of the country. There’s need for outreach and mobile laboratory services to reach people living in these areas

Cost of antenatal Profile Tests

In most public health facilities, ANC profile are offered for free under government programs like Linda Mama or donor funded programs. In the private sector, these are usually charged at the prevailing market rates, making them unaffordable to vast majority of Kenyan mothers.

We do surveillance of laboratory prices to increase transparency and enable laboratory services users to make informed decisions

Related Tests


Antenatal Profile Tests form an essential component of maternal health. All expectant mothers are encouraged to attend ANC and have these tests done. When resources allow, expanded test panel is recommended

For any queries regarding ANC profile Tests (or any laboratory test) get in touch with us for unbiased consultation with our resident consultant

See you in the next post, till then, happy and healthy living! 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this medical blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided on this blog. The authors and publishers of this blog are not liable for any errors or omissions in the content or for any actions taken based on the information provided.

Medically reviewed by Dr Mwaura J.