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Report on perinatal deaths in South Africa

In late 2016, two reports reflecting perinatal population statistics were released in South Africa: April newsletter_Evidence summary_image 1Perinatal Deaths in South Africa, 2014, which is
the second annual report by Statistics South Africa (the government department mandated to produce statistical information) and the fifth Rapid Mortality Surveillance Report, 2015 by the Burden of Disease Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council. These reports provide the most recent national picture of the trends and causes of death of the perinatal population.

This summary, written by Dr Natasha R Rhoda, Senior Neonatal Consultant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and the chairperson of the National Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee in South Africa, concentrates on the most recent data for the period 2012 to 2014 and will summarise the findings of the Perinatal Deaths in South Africa, 2014 report. Continue reading

Feedback from Evidence for Action about ESOG and AFOG conferences

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Evidence for Action (E4A) Ethiopia were honoured to take part in the Second Annual Conference of the African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AFOG), and 25th Annual Conference and Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ESOG) on 2-4 February, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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They were joined by Dr Tunde Segun, the E4A Country Director in Nigeria. Collectively, the E4A team provided support to a satellite session, gave five presentations and hosted a booth on behalf of the MDSR Action network. We share some reflections on the event here.

The conference was attended by around 400 participants from across Africa and included representatives from Ministries of Health, United Nations partners and non-governmental organisations. Continue reading

The Global Financing Facility: A Brief Overview

Are you familiar with the Global Financing Facility (GFF)? Do you live in one of the 63 countries receiving or eligible to receive GFF funding?

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The GFF was launched by the UN and the World Bank in July last year to improve the health of women, children and adolescents. It is a financing model that combines domestic funding with external resources.

While the GFF is still in its early days, we believe that it has the potential to improve MDSR systems, through investing in civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, for example. An important focus of the GFF is to improve CRVS systems – a key method for measuring improvements in maternal and newborn health – to capture information on births, deaths and causes of deaths. Continue reading

A Story of a Pregnant Mother in Ethiopia

“This short film highlights the value of Ethiopia’s maternal death surveillance and response – MDSR – system by bringing to life the benefits this can generate for pregnant women and all in our society.

In the Ethiopian Ministry of Health MDSR is one of our flagship programmes. Using the data generated by the MDSR system, we have the power to make evidence-based decisions that improve quality of care and target responses to where they will be most effective in saving lives. We support a no-blame culture necessary for successful MDSR. A no-blame culture is important because we need everybody to feel supported in reporting maternal deaths when they occur whether it is in a facility or at home. Then our teams will review and report into the system on each death.

Most importantly, we are taking action in response to every death – from the community to the national level. This nationwide system has the power to save maternal lives now and for generations to come.”

Prof Yifru Berhan,
Minister of Ministry of Health of Ethiopia

The film was produced by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Evidence for Action, the World Health Organization and the University of Aberdeen.

Policy Briefs

These policy briefs are the outcome of national review of MDSR data from January 2014 to December 2015 covering 539 maternal deaths.

Image_Policy Brief IV_PostAt the National MDSR Task Force’s inaugural meeting members conducted an analysis of national MDSR data in relation to the objectives of the Health Sector Transformation Plan 2015/2016 – 2019/2020. This analysis was distilled into four policy briefs published in July 2016.

  1. Recommendations on Quality of Care in MNH Services
  2. Recommendations on Community Participation and Engagement
  3. Recommendations on Appropriate Use of Blood and Blood Products
  4. Strengthening Response in the Maternal Death Surveillance and Response System

The briefs were designed by Evidence for Action and copies were distributed to regional health bureaus at the National RMNCH Meeting 2016.

These policy briefs comprise the first national level response to MDSR data in Ethiopia and as such mark an important milestone.

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The 2012 MDSR Resource Room

In October 2012, Evidence for Action hosted a half day practical and interactive “resource room” on Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR) at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2012 World Congress.

The interactive resource session aimed to:

1)      Provide delegates with access to resources and expertise on MDSR

2)      Identify training and guidance needs

3)      Identify the range of global expertise on MDSR

Key themes covered during the interactive session included:

1)      Creating a conducive enabling environment. Resources developed for this theme include:

  • Legal briefing leaflet focused on overcoming legal challenges and creating an enabling environment on MDSRs
  • Poster on legal considerations related MDSRs.

2)      Maternal death identification, notification and reporting. Resources developed for this theme include:

  • Poster on maternal death identification, notification and reporting
  • Poster on maternal death identification, notification and reporting flowchart

3)      Use of findings at multiple levels, including data management, to improve quality of care, prevent further deaths and influence the health system more broadly. Resources developed for this theme include:

  • Poster on analysis and response within MDSR
  • Poster on improvements in quality of care
  • Literature review on the impact of Maternal Death Reviews on quality of care compiled by the Evidence for Action team, September 2012.

4)      Components of MDSR. Resources developed for this theme include:

  • Poster on MDSR and verbal autopsy

5)      Training and support. Resources developed for this theme include:

For more information on MDSR or to join the MDSR Action Network, please:

Email: l.hulton@evidence4action.net

Visit: www.mdsr-action.net

 

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Calling all midwives to take action to save women’s lives

A great majority of the 289,000 maternal deaths, estimated to have happened globally in 2013, could be avoided if we had the skills and the will to do so.  Midwives can bring these skills, confirms the State of World’s Midwifery 2014 Report.  The on-going 30th Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives, affirms the will of midwives to share knowledge to build high-quality care for women and children.  The MDSR Action Network offers the opportunity to bring the skills and will together.

Continue reading