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Professional care delivery or traditional birth attendants? The impact of the type of care utilized by mothers on under-five mortality of their children.
Tropical Medicine and Health. 2018; 46(1)Background: Because of the high under-five mortality rate, the government in Zambia has adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) policy on child delivery which insists on professional maternal care. However, there are scholars who criticize this policy by arguing that although built on good intentions, the policy to ban traditional birth attendants (TBAs) is out of touch with local reality in Zambia. There is lack of evidence to legitimize either of the two positions, nor how the outcome differs between women with HIV and those without HIV. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of using professional maternal care or TBA care by mothers (during antenatal, delivery, and postnatal) on under-five mortality of their children. We also compare these outcomes between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. Methods: By relying on data from the 2013-2014 Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS), we carried out propensity score matching (PSM) to investigate the effect of utilization of professional care or TBA during antenatal, childbirth, and postnatal on under-five mortality. This method allows us to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT). Results: Our results show that the use of professional care as opposed to TBAs in all three stages of maternal care increases the probability of children surviving beyond 5 years old. Specifically for women with HIV, professional care usage during antenatal, at birth, and during postnatal periods increases probability of survival by 0.07 percentage points (p.p), 0.71 p.p, and 0.87 p.p respectively. Similarly, for HIV-negative women, professional care usage during antenatal, at birth, and during postnatal periods increases probability of survival by 0.71 p.p, 0.52 p.p, and 0.37 p.p respectively. However, although there is a positive impact when mothers choose professional care over TBAs, the differences at all three points of maternal care are small. Conclusion: Given our findings, showing small differences in under-five child's mortality between utilizers of professional care and utilizers of TBAs, it may be questioned whether the government's intention of completely excluding TBAs (who despite being outlawed are still being used) without replacement by good quality professional care is the right decision. © 2018 The Author(s).
Measuring postnatal care contacts for mothers and newborns: An analysis of data from the MICS and DHS surveys.
Journal of Global Health. 2017 Dec; 7(2):020502.Background: The postnatal period represents a vulnerable phase for mothers and newborns where both face increased risk of morbidity and death. WHO recommends postnatal care (PNC) for mothers and newborns to include a first contact within 24 hours following the birth of the child. However, measuring coverage of PNC in household surveys has been variable over time. The two largest household survey programs in low and middle-income countries, the UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and USAID-funded Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), now include modules that capture these measures. However, the measurement approach is slightly different between the two programs. We attempt to assess the possible measurement differences that might affect comparability of coverage measures. Methods: We first review the standard questionnaires of the two survey programs to compare approaches to collecting data on postnatal contacts for mothers and newborns. We then illustrate how the approaches used can affect PNC coverage estimates by analysing data from four countries; Bangladesh, Ghana, Kygyz Republic, and Nepal, with both MICS and DHS between 2010-2015. Results: We found that tools implemented todate by MICS and DHS (up to MICS round 5 and up to DHS phase 6) have collected PNC information in different ways. While MICS dedicated a full module to PNC and distinguishes immediate vs later PNC, DHS implemented a more blended module of pregnancy and postnatal and did not systematically distinguish those phases. The two survey programs differred in the way questions on postnatal care for mothers and newbors were framed. Subsequently, MICS and DHS surveys followed different methodological approach to compute the global indicator of postnatal contacts for mothers and newborns within two days following delivery. Regardless of the place of delivery, MICS estimates for postnatal contacts for mothers and newbors appeared consistently higher than those reported in DHS. The difference was however, far more pronounced in case of newborns. Conclusions: Difference in questionnaires and the methodology adopted to measure PNC have created comparability issues in the coverage levels. Harmonization of survey instruments on postnatal contacts will allow comparable and better assessment of coverage levels and trends.
Effectiveness of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist program in reducing severe maternal, fetal, and newborn harm in Uttar Pradesh, India: study protocol for a matched-pair, cluster-randomized controlled trial.
Trials. 2016 Dec 7; 17(1):576.BACKGROUND: Effective, scalable strategies to improve maternal, fetal, and newborn health and reduce preventable morbidity and mortality are urgently needed in low- and middle-income countries. Building on the successes of previous checklist-based programs, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners led the development of the Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC), a 28-item list of evidence-based practices linked with improved maternal and newborn outcomes. Pilot-testing of the Checklist in Southern India demonstrated dramatic improvements in adherence by health workers to essential childbirth-related practices (EBPs). The BetterBirth Trial seeks to measure the effectiveness of SCC impact on EBPs, deaths, and complications at a larger scale. METHODS/DESIGN: This matched-pair, cluster-randomized controlled, adaptive trial will be conducted in 120 facilities across 24 districts in Uttar Pradesh, India. Study sites, identified according to predefined eligibility criteria, were matched by measured covariates before randomization. The intervention, the SCC embedded in a quality improvement program, consists of leadership engagement, a 2-day educational launch of the SCC, and support through placement of a trained peer "coach" to provide supportive supervision and real-time data feedback over an 8-month period with decreasing intensity. A facility-based childbirth quality coordinator is trained and supported to drive sustained behavior change after the BetterBirth team leaves the facility. Study participants are birth attendants and women and their newborns who present to the study facilities for childbirth at 60 intervention and 60 control sites. The primary outcome is a composite measure including maternal death, maternal severe morbidity, stillbirth, and newborn death, occurring within 7 days after birth. The sample size (n = 171,964) was calculated to detect a 15% reduction in the primary outcome. Adherence by health workers to EBPs will be measured in a subset of births (n = 6000). The trial will be conducted in close collaboration with key partners including the Governments of India and Uttar Pradesh, the World Health Organization, an expert Scientific Advisory Committee, an experienced local implementing organization (Population Services International, PSI), and frontline facility leaders and workers. DISCUSSION: If effective, the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist program could be a powerful health facility-strengthening intervention to improve quality of care and reduce preventable harm to women and newborns, with millions of potential beneficiaries. TRIAL REGISTRATION: BetterBirth Study Protocol dated: 13 February 2014; ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02148952 ; Universal Trial Number: U1111-1131-5647.
Improving Adherence to Essential Birth Practices Using the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist With Peer Coaching: Experience From 60 Public Health Facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Jun 27; 5(2):217-231.BACKGROUND: Adherence to evidence-based essential birth practices is critical for improving health outcomes for mothers and newborns. The WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) incorporates these practices, which occur during 4 critical pause points: on admission, before pushing (or cesarean delivery), soon after birth, and before discharge. A peer-coaching strategy to support consistent use of the SCC may be an effective approach to increase birth attendants' adherence to these practices. METHODS: We assessed data from 60 public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India, that received an 8-month staggered coaching intervention from December 2014 to September 2016 as part of the BetterBirth Trial, which is studying effectiveness of an SCC-centered intervention on maternal and neonatal harm. Nurse coaches recorded birth attendants' adherence to 39 essential birth practices. Practice adherence was calculated for each intervention month. After 2 months of coaching, a subsample of 15 facilities was selected for independent observation when the coach was not present. We compared adherence to the 18 practices recorded by both coaches and independent observers. RESULTS: Coaches observed birth attendants' behavior during 5,971 deliveries. By the final month of the intervention, 35 of 39 essential birth practices had achieved >90% adherence in the presence of a coach, compared with only 7 of 39 practices during the first month. Key behaviors with the greatest improvement included explanation of danger signs, temperature measurement, assessment of fetal heart sounds, initiation of skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding. Without a coach present, birth attendants' average adherence to practices and checklist use was 24 percentage points lower than when a coach was present (range: -1% to 62%). CONCLUSION: Implementation of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist with coaching improved uptake of and adherence to essential birth practices. Coordination and communication among facility staff, as well as behaviors with an immediate, tangible benefit, showed the greatest improvement. Difficult-to-perform behaviors and those with delayed or theoretical benefits were less likely to be sustained without a coach present. Coaching may be an important component in implementing the Safe Childbirth Checklist at scale.Note: At the time of publication of this article, the results of evaluation of the impact of the BetterBirth intervention were pending publication in another journal. After the impact findings have been published, we will update this article on the effect of the intervention on birth practices with a reference to the impact findings.
Managing complications in pregnancy and childbirth (MCPC): A guide for midwives and doctors. Highlights from the World Health Organization’s 2017 Second Edition.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2017 May. 8 p. (WHO/MCA/17.02; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)Since it was first published in 2000, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth (MCPC) manual has been used widely around the world to guide the care of women and newborns who have complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period. The MCPC manual targets midwives and doctors working in district-level hospitals. Selected chapters from the first edition of the MCPC were revised in 2016 based on new WHO recommendations, and the second edition of the MCPC manual is now available. This brief reviews the revision process and summarizes updated clinical guidelines for a subset of revised chapters, including: emotional and psychological support; hypertensive disorders of pregnancy; bleeding in early pregnancy and after childbirth; and prevention and management of infection in pregnancy and childbirth. (Excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2017 Jun; 95(6):445-452I.Objective To assess the feasibility of applying the World Health Organization’s proposed 15 indicators of quality of care for maternal and newborn health at health-facility level in low- and middle-income settings. Methods Six of the indicators are about maternal health, five are for newborn health and four are general cross-cutting indicators. We used data collected routinely in facility registers and obtained as part of facility assessments from 963 health-care facilities specializing in maternity services in 10 countries in Africa and Asia. We made a feasibility assessment of the availability of data and the clarity of indicator definitions and identified additional information and data collection processes needed to apply the proposed indicators in real-life settings. Findings Of the indicators evaluated, 10 were clearly defined, of which four could be applied directly in the field and six would require revisions to operationalize them. The other five indicators require further development, with one of them being ready for implementation by using information readily available in registers and four requiring further information before deployment. For indicators that measure coverage of care or availability of services or products, there is a need to further strengthen measurement. Information on emergency obstetric complications was not recorded in a standard manner, thus limiting the reliability of the information. Conclusion While some of the proposed indicators can already be applied, other indicators need to be refined or will need additional sources and methods of data collection to be applied in real-world settings.
Lancet Global Health. 2016 Nov; 4(11):e766-e768.Along with the individual trial findings, the figure [contained in this comment]: "Log odds of neonatal mortality associated with chlorhexidine cord cleansing, by proportion of home deliveries in control group (A) and neonatal mortality in control group (B)" is consonant with the current WHO guidelines for cord care, to which we recommend no change. Cord cleanliness is part of the suite of hard-won improvements that accompany the increases in survival being seen worldwide. In settings in which neonatal mortality rates remain high, we recommend the kinds of programme that have been associated with reductions in all-cause mortality. These include improvements in institutional quality of care and efforts to improve community-based practices, both central to the 2014 Every Newborn Action Plan. (Excerpts) © The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open Access.
Seminars In Perinatology. 2015 Oct; 39(6):430-6.Induction of labor in resource-limited settings has the potential to significantly improve health outcomes for both mothers and infants. However, there are relatively little context-specific data to guide practice, and few specific guidelines. Also, there may be considerable issues regarding the facilities and organizational capacities necessary to support safe practices in many aspects of obstetrical practice, and for induction of labor in particular. Herein we describe the various opportunities as well as challenges presented by induction of labor in these settings. Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
British Journal of Nursing. 2016 Mar 24-Apr 13; 25(6):344-5.Add to my documents.
Implementation of the WHO safe childbirth checklist program at a tertiary care setting in Sri Lanka: a developing country experience.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015; 15:12.BACKGROUND: To study institutionalization of the World Health Organization's Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) in a tertiary care center in Sri Lanka. METHOD: A hospital-based, prospective observational study was conducted in the De Soysa Hospital for Women, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Healthcare workers were educated regarding the SCC, which was to be used for each woman admitted to the labor room during the study period. A qualitatively pretested, self-administered questionnaire was given to all nursing and midwifery staff to assess knowledge and attitudes towards the checklist. Each item of the SCC was reviewed for adherence. RESULTS: A total of 824 births in which the checklist used were studied. There were a total of births 1800 during the period, giving an adoption rate of 45.8%. Out of the 170 health workers in the hospital (nurses, midwives and nurse midwives) 98 answered the questionnaire (response rate = 57.6%). The average number of childbirth practices checked in the checklist was 21 out of 29 (95% CI 20.2, 21.3). Educating the mother to seek help during labor, after delivery and after discharge from hospital, seeking an assistant during labor, early breast-feeding, maternal HIV infection and discussing contraceptive options were checked least often. The mean level of knowledge on the checklist among health workers was 60.1% (95% CI 57.2, 63.1). Attitudes for acceptance of using the checklist were satisfactory. Average adherence to checklist practices was 71.3%. Sixty eight (69.4%) agreed that the Checklist stimulates inter-personal communication and teamwork. Increased workload, poor enthusiasm of health workers towards new additions to their routine schedule and level of user-friendliness of Checklist were limitations to its greater use. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst users, the attitude towards the checklist was satisfactory. Adoption rate amongst all workers was 45.8% and knowledge regarding the checklist was 60.1%. These two factors are probably linked. Therefore prior to introducing it to a facility awareness about the value and correct use of the SCC needs to be increased, while giving attention to satisfactory staffing levels.
Recommendations for augmentation of labour. Highlights and key messages from World Health Organization's 2014 global recommendations.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2015 Apr.  p. (WHO/RHR/15.05; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028.)This evidence brief provides highlights and key messages from the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Recommendations on the Augmentation of Labor. The goal of the brief is to summarize guidelines for effective interventions for safe augmentation to accelerate their dissemination and use. Additionally, policy and programme actions to incorporate the new guidelines are outlined alongside the recommendations. This brief is intended for policy-makers, programme managers, educators and providers who care for pregnant woman.
Searching for the definition of macrosomia through an outcome-based approach in low- and middle-income countries: a secondary analysis of the WHO Global Survey in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015; 15(1):324.BACKGROUND: No consensus definition of macrosomia currently exists among researchers and obstetricians. We aimed to identify a definition of macrosomia that is more predictive of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: We conducted a secondary data analysis using WHO Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health data on Africa and Latin America from 2004 to 2005 and Asia from 2007 to 2008. We compared adverse outcomes, which were assessed by the composite maternal mortality and morbidity index (MMMI) and perinatal mortality and morbidity index (PMMI) in subgroups with birthweight (3000-3499 g [reference group], 3500-3999 g, 4000-4099 g, 4100-4199 g, 4200-4299 g, 4300-4399 g, 4400-4499 g, 4500-4999 g) or country-specific birthweight percentile for gestational age (50(th)-74(th) percentile [reference group], 75(th)-89(th), 90(th)-94(th), 95(th)-96(th), and >/=97(th) percentile). Two-level logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios of MMMI and PMMI. RESULTS: A total of 246,659 singleton term births from 363 facilities in 23 low- and middle-income countries were included. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for intrapartum caesarean sections exceeded 2.0 when birthweight was greater than 4000 g (2 . 00 [95 % CI: 1 . 68, 2 . 39], 2 . 42 [95 % CI: 2 . 02, 2 . 89], 2 . 01 [95 % CI: 1 . 74, 2 . 33] in Africa, Asia and Latin America, respectively). aORs of MMMI reached 2.0 when birthweight was greater than 4000 g, 4500 g in Asia and Africa, respectively. aORs of PMMI approached to 2.0 (1 . 78 [95 % CI: 1 . 16, 2 . 74]) when birthweight was greater than 4500 g in Latin America. When birthweight was at the 90(th) percentile or higher, aORs of MMMI and PMMI increased, but none exceeded 2.0. CONCLUSIONS: The population-specific definition of macrosomia using birthweight cut-off points irrespective of gestational age (4500 g in Africa and Latin America, 4000 g in Asia) is more predictive of maternal and perinatal adverse outcomes, and simpler to apply compared to the definition based on birthweight percentile for a given gestational age.
Reproductive Health. 2015; 12:46.In September, the World Health Organization released a statement on preventing and eliminating disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth. In addition to this important agenda, attention is also needed for the dignified care of newborns, who also deserve basic human rights and dignified care. In this commentary, we provide examples from the literature and other sources of where respectful care for newborns has been lacking and we give examples of opportunities for integration of maternal and newborn health care going forward. We illustrate the need for respectful treatment and consideration across the continuum of care: for mothers, stillbirths, and all newborns, including those born too soon and those who die in infancy. We explain the need to document cases of neglect and abuse, count all births and deaths, and to include newborns and stillbirths in the respectful care agenda and the post-2015 global reproductive care frameworks.
WHO Better Outcomes in Labour Difficulty (BOLD) project: innovating to improve quality of care around the time of childbirth.
Reproductive Health. 2015; 12:48.As most pregnancy-related deaths and morbidities are clustered around the time of childbirth, quality of care during this period is critical to the survival of pregnant women and their babies. Despite the wide acceptance of partograph as the central tool to optimize labour outcomes for over 40 years, its use has not successfully improved outcomes in many settings for several reasons. There are also increasing questions about the validity and applicability of its central feature - "the alert line" - to all women regardless of their labour characteristics. Apart from the known deficiencies in labour care, attempts to improve quality of care in low resource settings have also failed to address and integrate women's birth experience into quality improvement processes. It was against this background that the World Health Organization (WHO) embarked on the Better Outcomes in Labour Difficulty (BOLD) project to improve the quality of intrapartum care in low- and middle-income countries. The main goal of the BOLD project is to reduce intrapartum-related stillbirths, maternal and newborn mortalities and morbidities by addressing the critical barriers to the process of good quality intrapartum care and enhancing the connection between health systems and communities. The project seeks to achieve this goal by (1) developing an evidence-based, easy to use, labour monitoring-to-action decision-support tool (currently termed Simplified, Effective, Labour Monitoring-to-Action - SELMA); and (2) by developing innovative service prototypes/tools, co-designed with users of health services (women, their families and communities) and health providers, to promote access to respectful, dignified and emotionally supportive care for pregnant women and their companions at the time of birth ("Passport to Safer Birth"). This two-pronged approach is expected to positively impact on important domains of quality of care relating to both provision and experience of care. In this paper, we briefly describe the rationale for innovative thinking in relation to improving quality of care around the time of childbirth and introduce WHO current plans to improve care through research, design and implementation of innovative tools and services in the post-2015 era.Please see related articles ' http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-015-0029-4 ' and ' http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-015-0028-5 '.
WHO recommendations for prevention and treatment of maternal peripartum infections: Highlights and key messages from the World Health Organization's 2015 global recommendations.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2015 Sep.  p. (WHO/RHR/15.19; WHO/MCA/15.01)Bacterial infections around the time of childbirth account for about one-tenth of maternal deaths and contribute to severe morbidity and long-term disability for many affected women. Standard infection prevention and control measures are a cornerstone of peripartum infection prevention (e.g., hand hygiene and use of clean equipment). WHO recommendations for prevention and treatment of maternal peripartum infections include both recommended and non-recommended interventions during labour, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Clinical monitoring, early detection, and prompt treatment of peripartum infection with an appropriate antibiotic regimen are essential for reducing death and morbidity in affected women. Recommendations for antibiotic prophylaxis / treatment for specific indications balance health benefits for the mother and newborn with safety concerns (e.g., adverse effects) and the public health imperative to control antibiotic resistance.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015.  p. (WHO/RHR/15.21)This document consists largely of GRADE: Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation tables for studies on maternal peripartum infection prevention and treatment practices.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015.  p.The goal of the present guideline is to consolidate guidance for effective interventions that are needed to reduce the global burden of maternal infections and their complications around the time of childbirth. This forms part of WHO’s efforts to improve the quality of care for leading causes of maternal death, especially those clustered around the time of childbirth, in the post-MDG era. Specifically, it presents evidence-based recommendations on interventions for preventing and treating genital tract infections during labour, childbirth or the puerperium, with the aim of improving outcomes for both mothers and newborns.The primary audience for this guideline is health professionals who are responsible for developing national and local health protocols and policies, as well as managers of maternal and child health programmes and policy-makers in all settings. The guideline will also be useful to those directly providing care to pregnant women, including obstetricians, midwives, nurses and general practitioners. The information in this guideline will be useful for developing job aids and tools for both pre- and inservice training of health workers to enhance their delivery of care to prevent and treat maternal peripartum infections. (Excerpts)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014.  p.Optimizing outcomes for women in labour at the global level requires evidence-based guidance of health workers to improve care through appropriate patient selection and use of effective interventions. In this regard, WHO published recommendations for induction of labour in 2011. The goal of the present guideline is to consolidate the guidance for effective interventions that are needed to reduce the global burden of prolonged labour and its consequences. The primary target audience includes health professionals responsible for developing national and local health protocols and policies, as well as obstetricians, midwives, nurses, general medical practitioners, managers of maternal and child health programmes, and public health policy-makers in all settings. Augmentation of labour is the process of stimulating the uterus to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of contractions after the onset of spontaneous labour. It has commonly been used to treat delayed labour when poor uterine contractions are assessed to be the underlying cause. The WHO technical consultation adopted 20 recommendations covering practices relating to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of delayed progress in the first stage of labour, and supportive care for women undergoing labour augmentation. For each recommendation, the quality of the supporting evidence was graded as very low, low, moderate or high. The contributing experts qualified the strength of these recommendations (as strong or weak) by considering the quality of the evidence and other factors, including values and preferences of stakeholders, the magnitude of effect, the balance of benefits versus harms, resource use and the feasibility of each recommendation. To ensure that each recommendation is correctly understood and used in practice, additional remarks and an evidence summary have also been prepared, and these are provided in the full document, below each recommendation. Guideline users should refer to this information in the full version of the guideline if they are in any doubt as to the basis for any of the recommendations. (Excerpts)
Pregnancy and childbirth outcomes among adolescent mothers: a World Health Organization multicountry study.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2014 Mar; 121 Suppl 1:40-8.OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes among adolescents in 29 countries. DESIGN: Secondary analysis using facility-based cross-sectional data of the World Health Organization Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health. SETTING: Twenty-nine countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. POPULATION: Women admitted for delivery in 359 health facilities during 2-4 months between 2010 and 2011. METHODS: Multilevel logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between young maternal age and adverse pregnancy outcomes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes among adolescent mothers. RESULTS: A total of 124 446 mothers aged =24 years and their infants were analysed. Compared with mothers aged 20-24 years, adolescent mothers aged 10-19 years had higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, systemic infections, low birthweight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions. The increased risk of intra-hospital early neonatal death among infants born to adolescent mothers was reduced and statistically insignificant after adjustment for gestational age and birthweight, in addition to maternal characteristics, mode of delivery and congenital malformation. The coverage of prophylactic uterotonics, prophylactic antibiotics for caesarean section and antenatal corticosteroids for preterm delivery at 26-34 weeks was significantly lower among adolescent mothers. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent pregnancy was associated with higher risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy prevention strategies and the improvement of healthcare interventions are crucial to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes among adolescent women in low- and middle-income countries. (c) 2014 RCOG The World Health Organization retains copyright and all other rights in the manuscript of this article as submitted for publication.
Mode and timing of twin delivery and perinatal outcomes in low- and middle-income countries: a secondary analysis of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2014 Mar; 121 Suppl 1:89-100.OBJECTIVE: To describe the mode and timing of delivery of twin pregnancies at >/=34 weeks of gestation and their association with perinatal outcomes. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study. POPULATION: Twin deliveries at >/=34 weeks of gestation from 21 low- and middle-income countries participating in the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health. METHODS: Descriptive analysis and effect estimates using multilevel logistic regression. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Stillbirth, perinatal mortality, and neonatal near miss (use of selected life saving interventions at birth). RESULTS: The average length of gestation at delivery was 37.6 weeks. Of all twin deliveries, 16.8 and 17.6% were delivered by caesarean section before and after the onset of labour, respectively. Prelabour caesarean delivery was associated with older maternal age, higher institutional capacity and wealth of the country. Compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery, lower risks of neonatal near miss (adjusted odds ratio, aOR, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI, 0.44-0.94) were found among prelabour caesarean deliveries. A lower risk of early neonatal mortality (aOR 0.12; 95% CI 0.02-0.56) was also observed among prelabour caesarean deliveries with nonvertex presentation of the first twin. The week of gestation with the lowest rate of prospective fetal death varied by fetal presentation: 37 weeks for vertex-vertex; 39 weeks for vertex-nonvertex; and 38 weeks for a nonvertex first twin. CONCLUSIONS: The prelabour caesarean delivery rate among twins varied largely between countries, probably as a result of overuse of caesarean delivery in wealthier countries and limited access to caesarean delivery in low-income countries. Prelabour delivery may be beneficial when the first twin is nonvertex. International guidelines for optimal twin delivery methods are needed. (c) 2014 RCOG The World Health Organization retains copyright and all other rights in the manuscript of this article as submitted for publication.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2013 Aug; 122(2):164-8.BACKGROUND: Poor-quality care during institutional births in low- and middle-income countries is a major contributing factor to preventable maternal and newborn harm, but progress has been slow in identifying effective methods to address these deficiencies at scale. Based on the success of checklist programs in other disciplines, WHO led the design and field testing of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist-a 29-item tool that targets the major causes of maternal and newborn mortality globally. METHODS: The development process consisted of comprehensive evidence and guideline review, in-person consultation with content experts and other key stakeholders, iterative refinement through ongoing discussions with a wide collaborator network, and field evaluation for usability in 9 countries, primarily in Africa and Asia. Pilot testing in South India demonstrated major improvement in health workers' delivery of essential safety practices after introduction of the program. RESULTS: WHO has launched a global effort to support further evaluation of the program in a range of contexts, and a randomized trial is underway in North India to measure the effectiveness of the program in reducing severe maternal, fetal, and newborn harm. CONCLUSION: A novel checklist program has been developed to support health workers in low-resource settings to prevent avoidable childbirth-related deaths. Copyright (c) 2013. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Completion of the modified World Health Organization (WHO) partograph during labour in public health institutions of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Reproductive Health. 2013; 10:23.BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using the partograph to follow labour and delivery, with the objective to improve health care and reduce maternal and foetal morbidity and death. The partograph consists of a graphic representation of labour and is an excellent visual resource to analyze cervix, uterine contraction and foetal presentation in relation to time. However, poor utilization of the partograph was found in the public health institutions which reflect poor monitoring of mothers in labour and/or poor pregnancy outcome. METHODS: A retrospective document review was undertaken to assess the completion of the modified WHO partograph during labour in public health institutions of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A total of 420 of the modified WHO partographs used to monitor mothers in labour from five public health institutions that provide maternity care were reviewed. A structured checklist was used to gather the required data. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Frequency distributions, cross-tabulations and a graph were used to describe the results of the study. RESULTS: All facilities were using the modified WHO partograph. The correct completion of the partograph was very low. From 420 partographs reviewed across all the five health facilities, foetal heart rate was recorded into the recommended standard in 129(30.7%) of the partographs, while 138 (32.9%) of cervical dilatation and 87 (20.70%) of uterine contractions were recorded to the recommended standard. The study did not document descent of the presenting part in 353 (84%). Moulding in 364 (86.7%) of the partographs reviewed was not recorded. Documentation of state of the liquor was 113(26.9%), while the maternal blood pressure was recorded to standard only in 78(18.6%) of the partographs reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a poor completion of the modified WHO partographs during labour in public health institutions of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The findings may reflect poor management of labour or simply inappropriate completion of the instrument and indicate the need for pre-service and periodic on-job training of health workers on the proper completion of the partograph. Regular supportive supervision, provision of guidelines and mandatory health facility policy are also needed in support of a collaborative effort to reduce maternal and perinatal deaths.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2012. 41 p.Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long term disability related to pregnancy and childbirth. Effective interventions to prevent and treat PPH exist and can largely reduce the burden of this life-threatening condition. Given the availability of new scientific evidence related to the prevention and treatment of PPH, this document updates previous WHO recommendations and adds new recommendations for the prevention and treatment of PPH. The primary goal of this guideline is to provide a foundation for the implementation of interventions shown to have been effective in reducing the burden of PPH. Health professionals responsible for developing national and local health policies constitute the main target audience of this document. Obstetricians, midwives, general medical practitioners, health care managers and public health policy-makers, particularly in under-resourced settings are also targeted. This document establishes general principles of PPH care and it is intended to inform the development of clinical protocols and health policies related to PPH.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2011.  p. (WHO/RHR/11.10)The primary goal of the present guidelines is to improve the quality of care and outcomes for pregnant women undergoing induction of labour in under-resourced settings. The target audience of these guidelines includes obstetricians, midwives, general medical practitioners, health-care managers and public health policy-makers. The guidance provided is evidence-based and covers selected topics related to induction of labour that were regarded as critical priority questions by an international, multidisciplinary group of health-care workers, consumers and other stakeholders. This evidence base includes chapters on indications, methods, treatment of uterine hyperstimulation and setting.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2011.  p.The primary goal of the present guidelines is to improve the quality of care and outcomes for pregnant women undergoing induction of labour in under-resourced settings. The target audience of these guidelines includes obstetricians, midwives, general medical practitioners, health-care managers and public health policy-makers. The guidance provided is evidence-based and covers selected topics related to induction of labour that were regarded as critical priority questions by an international, multidisciplinary group of health-care workers, consumers and other stakeholders.