Maternal & Child Health

Leveraging Human Capital to Reduce Maternal Mortality in India: Enhanced Public Health System or Public-Private Partnership

This paper will use India as a lens to examine the broader issues surrounding human resources and public health. It will explore some of the HR strategies employed in a variety of settings with mixed results. Finally, it will look at several very contrasting approaches employed by two Indian states, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, in dealing with human resource shortages as they struggle to reduce maternal mortality. [from author]

Child Health Services in Kenya

Given the worrying trends in infant and child mortality rates, there is a clear need to assess current practices in the management of childhood illnesses and to identify opportunities for intervention. The 2004 Kenya Service Provision Assessment Survey (KSPA) findings indicate that most health care providers are not taking care of sick children holistically, but rather are treating children only for the presenting illness.

Kenya: Assessment of Health Workforce Competency and Facility Readiness to Provide Quality Maternal Health Services

The study had three objectives: to determine the current competency levels of the workforce attending women during labor, delivery, and the early postpartum period; examine conditions at the workplace to determine environmental and organizational factors that affect workforce productivity and performance; and assess implications for regional training and performance improvement at the workplace. [from author]

Accelerating Reproductive and Child Health Program Impact with Community-Based Services: the Navrongo Experiment in Ghana

This report concludes that assigning nurses to community locations where they provide basic curative and preventive care substantially reduces childhood mortality and accelerates progress towards attainment of the child survival MDG. The research in Navrongo demonstrates that affordable and sustainable means of combining nurse services with volunteer action can accelerate attainment of both the International Conference on Population and Development agenda and the MDGs. [from summary]

Towards MDG5: Scaling up the Capacity of Midwives to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

Urgent support to increase the numbers and skills of midwives would save the lives of 5 million women, prevent 80 million illnesses and disabilities from pregnancy or childbirth and save the lives of countless newborns. The goal of this workshop is to contribute to that agenda, and respond to the global focus on human resources for health. [from executive summary]

Investing in Midwives and Others with Midwifery Skills to Save the Lives of Mothers and Newborns and Improve Their Health

This guidance note is designed for countries seeking to scale up midwifery services, especially at the community level. It outlines in detail the action required by policy-makers and program managers to effect change at country level and scale up midwifery capacity, specifically in poor and hard-to-reach areas.

Knowledge and Utilization of the Partograph Among Obstetric Care Givers in South West Nigeria

This cross-sectional study assessed knowledge and utilization of the partograph, an effective tool for monitoring labour that can prevent prolonged or obstructed labour, among health care workers in southwestern Nigeria. [adapted from author]

Laboring to Nurse: the Work of Rural Nurses who Provide Maternity Care

Research has identified that skilled nurses working in rural and remote locations are crucial for the provision of maternity care to rural parturient women. This study considered the experiences of rural nurses and their contributions to maternity care in rural and remote settings and in the small towns where women might be referred for care surrounding childbirth. [from introduction]

Effectiveness of the TBA Program in Reducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity in Malawi

The main objective of this study was to assess the role of traditional birth attendants and the quality of their services in contributing to the reduction of maternal deaths in Malawi. [from abstract]

Decentralization of Postabortion Care in Senegal and Tanzania

In developing countries, postabortion care (PAC) programs are frequently available only in urban or regional health facilities, placing rural women at greater risk for mortality and morbidity from complications because they lack access to services. This technical brief evaluates efforts to decentralize PAC activities in Senegal and Tanzania that show PAC can be safely and successfully decentralized with services capably provided by mid-level personnel in health centers, dispensaries, and some health posts when providers are trained and supervised and equipment and supplies are available.

Human Resources for Maternal Health: Multi-Purpose or Specialists?

In this paper we review the current situation of human resources for maternal health as well as the problems that they face. We propose seven key areas of work that must be addressed when planning for scaling up human resources for maternal health in light of MDG5, and finally we indicate some advances recently made in selected countries and the lessons learned from these experiences. [from abstract]

Community-Based Newborn Care: Are We There Yet?

The evidence base for strategies and interventions for newborn care in community settings has substantially improved, with a range of interventions that can be potentially packaged for delivery at different times during pregnancy, childbirth, and after birth, through various health-care providers. More recently, efficacy trials in representative rural settings have added to the evidence base. Such studies used innovative approaches with community health workers and varied preventive and treatment interventions. [from author]

Skilled Delivery Care in Indonesia

Care for most women before, during and after delivery can be provided within a well equipped primary care setting. Since the 1980s Indonesia has attempted to improve women’s access to maternal health care by assigning professional midwives to each village. Despite an increase in the number of midwives, maternal mortality remains high compared to other countries with similar Gross Domestic Product per capita. [from introduction]

Practices of Rural Egyptian Birth Attendants During the Antenatal, Intrapartum and Early Neonatal Periods

While previous Egyptian studies have identified provider practices contributing to maternal mortality, none has focused on neonatal care. This report details a survey of reported practices of birth attendants. As well, 217 recently-delivered mothers in rural areas of three governorates were interviewed about antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care they received. [from abstract]

Effect of Community-Based Newborn-Care Intervention Package Implemented Through Two Service-Delivery Strategies in Sylhet District, Bangladesh: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Neonatal mortality accounts for a high proportion of deaths in children under the age of 5 years in Bangladesh. This article describes a project for advancing the health of newborns and mothers implementing a community-based intervention package through government and non-government organisation infrastructures to reduce neonatal mortality. [from abstract]

Scaling Up Kangaroo Mother Care in South Africa: On-site Versus Off-site Educational Facilitation

Scaling up the implementation of new health care interventions can be challenging and demand intensive training or retraining of health workers. This paper reports on the results of testing the effectiveness of two different kinds of face-to-face facilitation used in conjunction with a well-designed educational package in the scaling up of kangaroo mother care. [from abstract]

Obstetric Services in Small Rural Communities: What are the Risks to Care Providers?

Although there is an emerging understanding of the stressors faced by rural physicians, little is known about the experience of care providers offering maternity care in low-resourced environments. This article considers the experience of rural maternity care providers from the perspective of the social risks they perceive are incurred by practicing in a low-resource environment. [from abstract]

Faith-Based Models for Improving Maternal and Newborn Health

This document explores some FBO health networks and facility-based services in Uganda and Tanzania. A pilot project in the Kasese District of Uganda illustrates how protestant, catholic and muslim health care providers and communities can work together from household-to-hospital levels to improve health outcomes. [from author]

Knowledge of Iraqi Primary Health Care Physicians about Breastfeeding

A questionnaire survey was conducted on 50 primary health care physicians in Iraq to assess their knowledge and identify misperceptions about breastfeeding. Basic knowledge about the main processes of breastfeeding was good (when to start feeding, frequency of feeding, relactation, importance of psychological factors), but there were deficiencies in their ability to deal with some practical problems related to breastfeeding. Steps for improving the knowledge and training are addressed. [from abstract]

Community Involvement Saves Newborn Infants in India

In a rural village in India, newborn deaths have been halved not by neonatologists or high-tech interventions but by local villagers trained in simple life-saving practices. Some experts, however, are sceptical about whether this strategy can work everywhere. [from author]

Mothers in the Middle: Potential for Integrated Programs in Maternal Health

This presentation from the Scaling Up High-Impact FP/MNCH Best Practices in Asia and the Near East Technical Meeting covers the reasons to support integrated services and the challenges to this process.

Enhancing Communication Skills for Pediatric Visits Through Online Training Using Video Demonstrations

Training in communication skills for health professionals is important, but there are substantial barriers to individual in-person training for practicing clinicians. This study evaluated the feasibility and desirability of online training and sought suggestions for future courses. [adapted from abstract]

Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy: a New Delivery System and Its Effect on Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes in Uganda

The objective of this study was to assess whether traditional birth attendants, drug-shop vendors, community reproductive-health workers, or adolescent peer mobilizers could administer intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) for malaria with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine to pregnant women. The study concludes that the use of the guideline with adequate training significantly improved correctness of malaria treatment with chloroquine at home. Adoption of this mode of intervention is recommended to improve compliance with drug use at home. The applicability for deploying artemisinin-based combination therapy at the community level needs to be investigated.

Assessment of a Treatment Guideline to Improve Home Management of Malaria in Children in Rural South-West Nigeria

Many Nigerian children with malaria are treated at home. Treatments are mostly incorrect, due to caregivers’ poor knowledge of appropriate and correct dose of drugs. A comparative study was carried out in two rural health districts in southwest Nigeria to determine the effectiveness of a guideline targeted at caregivers, in the treatment of febrile children using chloroquine. [from abstract]

Intervention Involving Traditional Birth Attendants and Perinatal and Maternal Mortality in Pakistan

This article describes an intervention for training traditional birth attendants and integrating them into an improved health care system, which was proven to be achievable and effective in reducing perinatal mortality. This model could result in large improvements in perinatal and maternal health in developing countries. [adapted from abstract]

Indian Public-Private Partnership for Skilled Birth-Attendance

This article describes the efforts of the Indian government to decrease maternal mortality by improving birthing conditions. The scheme created a partnership with the private sector and an NGO to provide free birth care to poor families through contracts with private obstetricians practicing in rural areas. The authors conclude that public-private partnerships can rapidly scale up the availability of human resources for skilled birth-attendance and emergency obstetric care to the poor in a very short time. [adapted from author]

Assessing the Human Resource Capacity for Implementation of the National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Process Description and Tool Library

The purpose of this document is to provide a process, methodology and tools for assessing government human resource capacity to lead and manage an effective implementation of the NPA.

India Local Initiatives Program: A Model for Expanding Reproductive and Child Health Services

The India Local Initiatives Program adapted a model used in Indonesia and Bangladesh to implement the government’s reproductive and child health strategy. From 1999 to 2003, three Indian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provided services for 784,000 people in four northern states. This model proved to be a suitable platform upon which to build health-care service delivery and create behavioral change, and the NGOs quickly found ways to sustain and expand services. [from abstract]

Maternity Workforce Resource Pack

This pack contains workforce planning checklists, together with case studies and frequently asked questions (FAQs) that other organisations have developed to solve common issues. This pack includes examples of good practice and the contact details of teams working in maternity services to enable organisations to follow up any issues raised. [from introduction]

Are Skilled Birth Attendants Really Skilled? A Measurement Method, Some Disturbing Results and a Potential Way Forward

Delivery by a skilled birth attendant (SBA) serves as an indicator of progress towards reducing maternal mortality worldwide – the fifth Millennium Development Goal. Though WHO tracks the proportion of women delivered by SBAs, we know little about their competence to manage common life-threatening obstetric complications. We assessed SBA competence in five high maternal mortality settings as a basis for initiating quality improvement. [from abstract]