Tag Archives: Humanitarian crises

Midwives: Unique contributors to MDSR

Midwives are vital to ensuring women and their babies not only survive pregnancy and childbirth, but live healthy lives.

We know from the Lancet Midwifery series that:

What do we know about the role of midwives in maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) systems?

Midwifery blog_N.Cornier_Image 1In 2016, we asked six experts in MDSR or similar models for their opinion. Experts agreed that midwives can make a unique contribution to MDSR being familiar with the medical and sociocultural factors relevant to each case. Their unique insights are meaningful in the investigation of and response to a maternal death. However, midwives are not always involved in the review of a maternal death and in some cases may have a low status within a health system.

For this year’s International Day of the Midwife, the world celebrated: “Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life!” Bearing this in mind, we turn our gaze to northern Syria where midwives are being trained in maternal and newborn care. We look at the challenges, benefits and opportunities in involving midwives in maternal care, in particular MDSR.

In March 2017, Nadine Cornier, a trained midwife and reproductive health Humanitarian Advisor at UNFPA in Turkey, gave a presentation at a seminar we co-organised at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She discussed her research and experience in measuring maternal mortality in humanitarian settings and responding to findings. Watch the live recording.

Her current work in Northern Syria involves re-training midwives in “life-saving capacities and competencies” as set out in the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice to raise their skill sets from an assistant midwife to a qualified midwife.

While Nadine Cornier describes this as a large task, maximising the competencies of midwives is invaluable in a setting where hundreds of health workers have been killed and numerous have fled the country. It is also important to note that accordingly assessments of maternal deaths have not been carried out in this area because of the security risks to health workers and health facilities.

In the panel discussion, Nadine Cornier was joined by Rajat Khosla, Human Rights Adviser in sexual and reproductive health and rights at the World Health Organization, and Eleanor Brown, Technical Specialist at Options.

When asked about the role of professional associations, especially professional midwifery associations, Eleanor Brown shared her work experience in Nigeria. She tells us that the Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria is integral to the maternal death review process and in instilling a culture of no blame. Eleanor Brown further states:

“The professional association for midwives plays quite an important role in other [Options] maternal health programmes as champions, particularly for getting people to have the political will to address maternal mortality”.

N.Cornier_presentation slideImage caption: Slide from Nadine Cornier’s seminar presentation

Let us celebrate the work of midwives as champions in maternal and newborn care around the world. Let us also reaffirm that midwives can play an important part in MDSR as they can uniquely contribute to making effective decisions to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care.

To watch the live stream of the seminar at LSHTM, Applying Maternal Death Surveillance and Response in Crises Settings, click here.

To download Nadine Cornier’s presentation, click here.

This seminar is part of a series. To read about the seminar series including the first seminar which took place in January 2017, click here.

Read this blog by UNFPA to learn more about Nadine Cornier’s work with midwives in northern Syria.

Acknowledgements: This blog was written by Jenna de St. Jorre, Evidence for Action-MamaYe Technical Assistant at Options.

[1] Rounded from 83%

Value of data: Sexual and reproductive health and rights in crisis settings

Summary_Rajat Khosla presentation_IDMHR_11.4.17The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is crucial for women to have access to quality health care throughout their pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period and overall life course at any time and in any place, including humanitarian and crisis settings. Enabling environments that are rights-based, equitable and legally protective can help ensure quality health care is available to women and girls.

Last month, Rajat Khosla, a trained lawyer and Human Rights Adviser in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the WHO, gave a compelling presentation about sexual and reproductive health, and the value of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) data and systems in crisis settings, at a seminar we co-organised at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Watch the live recording here. Continue reading

Seminar 1: Innovations to improve maternal and newborn death surveillance to respond to future Ebola outbreaks

Event information

Date and Time: Tuesday 17 January 2017, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: John Snow Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK

seminar-1-photoRecently, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa hit the poorest hardest. The three countries most affected by the crisis were amongst the top 11 countries in Africa with the highest maternal mortality (click here to see data).

In Sierra Leone, which holds the highest maternal mortality in the world, systems to count and investigate maternal deaths were hampered.

This seminar will explore:

  • limited data availability affecting operations in maternal and newborn health through a donor lens;
  • an innovative method to quantify the indirect mortality effects of the crisis; and the
  • changing landscape of maternal health response, including implications for maternal death surveillance and response and how will we react in the future.

Speakers:

Moderator: Dr Sara L Nam, Global MDSR Action Network – Evidence for Action, Options

Admission and registration: It is free to attend this seminar, but registration is required. Registration is now closed.

To learn more about the seminar series, Innovations in Maternal and Perinatal Health in Humanitarian Settings: Exploring Evidence and Innovations to Improve Maternal and Newborn Survival among Populations Affected by Humanitarian Crises, click here.

Email: mdsr@evidence4action.net

Twitter: @E4AMamaYeAfrica #MDSR

The seminar will be filmed. The recording will be available on this page after the event.


Please watch this space for updates on Seminar 1.

Click here to read a blog on the seminar, click here.

Click on the links below to read and download:

  • A presentation by Dr Chris Lewis about the UK Government’s response to Ebola in Sierra Leone and what opportunities there are to strengthen resilience of the health system, available here.
  • A method to estimate maternal and newborn mortality during a crisis, as presented by Laura Sochas, click here.
  • A presentation by Dr Benjamin Black on how MSF’s maternal health programme adapted to respond to Ebola and his reflections on MDSRs, available here.

Read more about the seminar series here.

Find out more about the second seminar: Applying maternal death surveillance and response in crises settings here.

Seminar 2: Applying maternal death surveillance and response in crises settings

Watch the live recording of the event here!

Event information

Date and Time: Thursday 23rd March 2017, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, followed by refreshments

Location: John Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK

LSHTM & MDSR AN Seminar 2_event advert_imageOverview:

Mothers and their babies face greater risks to their survival during humanitarian crises. However, there is a dearth of evidence about how best to apply reproductive health interventions effectively in crises settings. Understanding why women and their babies die in these specific circumstances is pivotal to designing appropriate interventions to prevent deaths from similar causes.

This seminar will explore tools and approaches to maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) in crises settings with presentations on the following:

  • Value of MDSR data and systems in crises settings, and in contributing to achieving  sexual and reproductive health rights
  • Approaches to measuring maternal mortality in refugee settings and responding to findings
  • Participatory ethnographic evaluation research (PEER) as a tool to triangulate MDSR findings in crises settings

Speakers:

  • Rajat Khosla, Human Rights Adviser – Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, World Health Organization, Geneva
  • Nadine Cornier, Humanitarian Adviser – Reproductive Health & Head of Office, UNFPA, Turkey
  • Eleanor Brown, Technical Specialist – Options, London

Moderator: Sarah Moxon, Research Fellow, the March Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health, LSHTM

This event is a collaboration between the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre, the Global MDSR Action Network and the MARCH Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health

Admission and registration: It is free to attend this seminar, but registration is required. Registration is now closed.

To learn more about the seminar series, Innovations in Maternal and Perinatal Health in Humanitarian Settings: Exploring Evidence and Innovations to Improve Maternal and Newborn Survival among Populations Affected by Humanitarian Crises, click here.

Email: mdsr@evidence4action.net

Twitter: @E4AMamaYeAfrica #MDSR

The live stream recording is available here.

Watch this space for additional recordings of the event and access to supplementary materials.


Read more about the seminar series here.

Find out more about the first seminar of the series: Innovations to improve maternal and newborn death surveillance to respond to future Ebola outbreaks here.

Seminar Series: 2017

Innovations in maternal and perinatal health in humanitarian settings: Exploring evidence and innovations to improve maternal and newborn survival among populations affected by humanitarian crises 

This new seminar series will take place at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in collaboration with the Global MDSR Action Network and LSHTM’s Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre and The Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive, and Child Health (MARCH). Continue reading