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.

E4A supported a pre-conference seminar on perinatal death surveillance and response (PDSR) in Ethiopia. This proved to be a lively interactive session that gave participants an overview of the proposed national PDSR system in Ethiopia as well as an opportunity to become familiar with the tools which will be used in the surveillance system. The discussions were productive and will result in modification of the tools before the system goes live.

Three abstracts on Ethiopia’s maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) system were presented at the conference, co-authored jointly by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the World Health Organization (WHO) and E4A Ethiopia. The topics included:

  • National MDSR Annual Data in the 2008 Ethiopian calendar year. Presented by the FMOH.
  • Reducing maternal deaths from haemorrhage: What are the priorities? Presented by WHO/E4A Ethiopia.
  • Home, in transit and facility deaths: What does Ethiopia’s MDSR data tell us? Presented by E4A Ethiopia.8430734458_24450f7369_z

All the presentations were well received and generated lively discussions with not enough time to respond to all the points raised!

A fourth presentation from an E4A-supported hospital in Ethiopia was delivered on RAPID (Rapid Ascertainment Process for Institutional Deaths), which is a tool to investigate under-reporting of maternal deaths outside the Maternity unit (for example, the death of a pregnant woman from respiratory disease on a medical ward).

This presentation was well received by staff from other Ethiopian hospitals keen to utilise the tool. The abstract was presented by Dr Ruth Lawley, Technical Support Unit Coordinator for E4A Ethiopia.

9515720039_41d5d1c70d_oDr Segun also delivered a presentation titled: Using scorecards to catalyse action for improvements in maternal and newborn survival in three states in Nigeria. Dr Segun’s presentation was well attended and generated a rich discussion, with participants eager to know more. Some of the questions posed during the discussion are outlined below, with links to information that can provide more insight:

  1. Which professionals conduct the reviews?
  • Read about multi-disciplinary team involvement here
  1. Do the scorecards include community-based deaths?
  • Click here to browse some examples from other settings of how communities have been involved in MDSR and here to learn about a pilot project in Malawi on community-linked maternal death review (MDR).
  1. Was a survey done to find out what was obtained before and after the introduction of scorecards?
  • Visit here to read a Nigeria case study in this book (p.84-6) based on MDR data presented in a scorecard
  1. How will the findings from the reviews be shielded from legal interference?
  • Click here to know more about how legal frameworks support MDSRs

You can read Dr Segun’s abstract here and view the presentation here.

The MDSR Booth shared some information about the MDSR Action Network with conference attendees, and several signed up to join the Action Network. We look forward to welcoming them! New members can also join the Action Network online to receive news and updates.

Ethiopia participants included Ato Sintayehu, FMOH; Dr Azmach Gebregiorgis, WHO/E4A Ethiopia; and Dr Tamiru Wondie, WHO/E4A Ethiopia.

For more information, contact Dr Gebregiorgis at

Find out more information about Dr Segun’s presentation here.

Acknowledgements: This blog is based on feedback from Dr Tunde Segun, Country Director for MamaYe-E4A Nigeria, and Dr Ruth Lawley, Technical Support Unit Coordinator for E4A in Ethiopia.