News

Mar
07

Why gender is vital in maternal and child health programming

 By Lynette Kamau, Senior Policy and Communications Officer

The World Health Organization defines gender as socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between women and men. Gender varies from society to society and can be changed. People are taught appropriate norms and behaviors – including how they should interact with others of the same or opposite sex within households, communities, and workplaces.

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Oct
28

Delayed provision of services in hospitals is a barrier to quality maternity care

By Professor Ellen Chirwa

In 2017 a team from Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Alberta, and AMREF Health Africa implemented research to assess the quality of maternity care services that mothers received at Nkhotakota District Hospital, Ntchisi District Hospital, and Matawale Health Centre in Malawi. We collected information by observing and interviewing health care personnel.


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Jul
12

Women Deliver – Reflections on Power

My Women Deliver experience started on Sunday, June 2, at the Vancouver airport. The airport was flooded with individuals from across the globe, forcing me to stand in line for over two hours, a sheer testament to the number that had arrived to attend the conference. As I made my way to the front of the line, one of the airport staff asked me inquisitively, "What is this conference for women about?" I smiled as I replied, "it is not a women's conference but one where people — men and women– discuss how to advance equity in all aspects of a girl's and woman's life.

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Mar
12

Barriers to maternal health: A South Sudanese woman’s journey

A nutritionist screening the nutrition status of babies under five years at the Nyong Health Facility in Torit, Imotong State in South Sudan.

 

By Lynette Kamau, Policy and Communications Officer, APHRC

At about 8.30 am on December 5, 2017, we arrived in Torit town, Imotong State in South Sudan. It was my maiden trip to South Sudan.

We made our way to Nyong health facility which was recently renovated so as to provide antenatal, delivery and nutrition services to the women and children in the area.

As we drove to the health facility, the radio presenter blurted out to everyone’s amusement: “It is air-conditioned weather today in Torit.” I imagine we were all silently hoping for cool temperatures. This was the confirmation we needed. The temperatures in South Sudan can rise to 40 degrees Celsius.

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Dec
21

South Sudanese mothers and babies survive in conflict

By Lynette Kamau.

During times of crisis, many women are unable to access maternal health services due to insecurity. Some are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and are not able to access a health facility. For many of them, this lack of access to health facilities or any form of assistance, is a matter of life and death for them and their children.

The conflict and fragility of South Sudan has led to the deaths of many women from preventable pregnancy and delivery complications. Even though the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births has reduced from 2,054 in 2006 to 789 in 2015 according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the situation is still severe.

To contribute to reducing maternal and child mortality, researchers supported by the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative are looking at community-centered approaches to enhance the linkage between communities and health facilities in fragile contexts and thereby increase the utilization of maternal health services. Read about the maternal health services provided by two health facilities working with the researchers supported by the IMCHA initiative in Torit, Imotong State.

 

A pregnant mother undergoes screening at the Nyong Health Facility in Torit, South Sudan as part of prenatal care. In South Sudan only 17% of women attend the four antenatal visits recommended by WHO. From information disseminated by researchers working in the IMCHA supported project, some of the reasons pregnant women are not utilizing maternal health services is because of the long distances to health facilities, lack of transport, flooding and poor roads as well as cultural practices. Researchers are testing whether community-approaches will increase access and utilization of maternal health services.A woman holds her child as they wait patiently for the doctor during a postnatal visit. Even though the postnatal period is a critical phase in the lives of mothers and newborn babies, according to WHO, it is the most neglected period for the provision of quality care yet most maternal and infant deaths occur during this time. The IMCHA supported project is implementing and assessing community-centered approaches to facilitate access and utilization of maternal health services during labor, birth and the immediate postnatal period to improve newborn and maternal survival.A child being immunized during a postnatal visit at the Torit Hospital in Imotong State, South Sudan. Torit Hospital is one of the health facilities working with researchers supported by the IMCHA initiative.A health worker conducts a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) test to assess assessment nutritional status of the child. MUAC is recommended for children between six and 59 months of age. This type of screening is essential as enables health workers detect children with nutritional problems early. Malnutrition is a major cause of mortality among children.Mothers wait at the nutrition clinic in Nyong Health Facility so that their children can be screened. Some of the mothers have to trek long distances to access the facility as it is one of the closest ones in Torit, Imotong State. The nutrition clinic is part of the hospitals’ efforts to ensure that mothers receive counselling and support to ensure their children are healthy
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Dec
15

Innovative research approaches to inform maternal and child health policy in uganda

The number of women who die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications in Uganda has declined in the last five years -- from 430 to 336 per 100,000 live births. To ensure that progress is sustained, members of the Eastern Africa Health Policy Research Organization consortium are undertaking research on the value and cost effectiveness of social enterprise models and incentives for community health workers (CHWs).
Efforts to enrich the body of evidence for human resources for health has spurred interest among high-profile government officials as was confirmed during a stakeholders’ meeting co-hosted by APHRC and BRAC Uganda in Kampala on 1 June. Uganda’s Minister of State for Health (Primary Health Care) Hon. Joyce Kaducu, who was the guest of honor, said: “We can reduce maternal mortality by eliminating the inequalities that lead to disparities in access and quality of care.” Existing Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) policies either need to be strengthened or enforced to ensure that all women access quality maternal services. This formed the heart of the discussions that brought together nearly 50 participants representing the ministry of health, members of parliament, academia and non-state actors.

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Nov
06

Le Directeur Général de l’OOAS manifeste son soutien au Réseau de jeunes leaders émergents en recherche sur les politiques et systèmes de santé en Afrique de l’Ouest. (WANEL).

Du 9 au 10 février 2017, s’est tenue à Niamey au Niger la 2ème rencontre du Réseau Ouest Africain des Leaders Emergents en recherche sur les politiques et systèmes de santé (WANEL). Plusieurs jeunes leaders de diverses disciplines (journalistes, communicateurs en santé, médecins cliniciens, socio-anthropologistes, médecins de santé publique) intervenant à divers niveaux du système de santé, Étaient présent à cette rencontre dont le thème central était « Amplifying influence of West African emerging research and practice leaders in health policy and systems ».

 

L’objectif de la rencontre était d’identifier les stratégies à mettre œuvre pour une meilleure visibilité et influence de WANEL au niveau sous régional, entre les membres du réseau et les générations futures de jeunes leaders émergents en recherche sur les politique et système de santé.

 

L’ouverture de la rencontre a été présidée par Dr Xavier CRESPIN, Directeur Général de l’OOAS, en présence de Sue GODT représentante du CRDI, de Professeur Irène AGYEPONG, de l’Université de Ghana et de Abdoua Elhadji Dagobi, Directeur Scientifique du LASDEL.

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Nov
06

4ème Symposium Mondiale sur la recherche sur les systèmes de santé : l’OOAS partage son expérience.

L’Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé (OOAS) a participé au 4ème symposium mondial sur la recherche sur les systèmes de santé du 14 au 18 novembre 2016 à Vancouver, Canada. L’équipe de l’OOAS est dirigée par Dr Laurent ASSOGBA, Directeur Général Adjoint de l’OOAS.

Par cette participation, l’OOAS ambitionne partager son expérience en matière de recherche sur les systèmes de santé et renforcer son leadership en matière de recherche en santé dans la sous-région Ouest-Africaine. Ainsi, elle a organisé le 15 novembre une session satellite sur le thème : « Supporting HPS Evidence Generation and Use Capacity in West Africa : Innovating to link Health Policy, Systems and Maternal and Newborn health outcome improvement in West Africa ». Click here to go to full article

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Nov
01

Imcha newsletter 2017

Imcha Newsletter 2017

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1290 Hits
Sep
29

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa teams share early findings in Dakar

As the seven-year Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) program reached its halfway mark, 80 African and Canadian experts gathered in Dakar, Senegal, from April 24-27, 2017 to discuss the program’s emerging findings and to hone their research and policy engagement skills.

Distinguished representatives of the Government of Senegal and the Canadian Embassy in Senegal welcomed participants and reiterated the high priority they place on improving maternal and child health and ending the unnecessary deaths of women and children in Africa.

Members from the 19 IMCHA research teams reported on initial research in the communities where they are testing innovations in maternal and child health. A baseline study in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia, for example, showed that 46% of women still delivered babies at home — far from medical care should complications arise. Kunuz Hajibedru, head of the federal government’s Zonal Health Office in Jimma, said that childbirth still occurs at home despite the existence of government maternal waiting areas, which enable pregnant women to live in close proximity to health centres as their due date approaches.

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Jul
01

The second meeting of the West African Network of Emerging Leaders in Health Policy and Systems (WANEL) has ended here in Niamey, Niger.

It was attended by 17 members of the network made up of public health physicians, research scientists, medical anthropologists, media and civil society organisation from Francophone and Anglophone countries in ECOWAS.

Addressing the meeting, the director general of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crespin, pledged to support the capacity building of members of WANEL to help make a positive change in health policy and systems and health outcomes in the sub-region.

He underscored the importance of action research, stressing that research must go beyond making recommendation and putting them on the shelves, to translate the findings into actions to improve health outcomes.

Dr. Crespin noted that, in spite of the financial and human resources challenges of WAHO, the organisation succeeded in mobilising resources to support the control of the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the sub-region.

Commenting on the importance of addressing the multi-sectoral and social determinants of improved health outcomes in the sub-region, Dr. Crespin mentioned the “One Health Approach Platform” that would seek to build partnership with other sectors like education, agriculture, communication sectors for better human development outcomes in the sub region.

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Jun
05

Three habits of successful policy entrepreneurs

‘Policy entrepreneurs’ invest their time wisely for future reward, and possess key skills that help them adapt particularly well to their environments. They are the agents for policy change who possess the knowledge, power, tenacity, and luck to be able to exploit key opportunities. They draw on three strategies: 1. Don’t focus on bombarding policymakers with evidence. Scientists focus on making more evidence to reduce uncertainty, but put people off with too much information. Entrepreneurs tell a good story, grab the audience’s interest, and the audience demands information. Click here to go to full article..

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1066 Hits
Apr
27

Innovation pour la santé des mères et enfants d’Afrique : Renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage et d’application des résultats de la recherche pour améliorer la santé de la mère et de l’enfant

Du 24 au 27 avril 2017, l’Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé (OOAS) et le Centre de Recherche pour le Développement International (CRDI) co-organisent à Dakar au Sénégal, un atelier international à mi-Parcours sur l’initiative ‘’Innovation pour la Santé des Mères et Enfants d’Afrique (ISMEA).

 

Près de 80 participants représentant les différentes structures impliquées (ECHSA Community et CEDEAO) assistent à cette rencontre dont le principal but est de renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage de la mise en œuvre de cette initiative au niveau national et régional et faciliter la collaboration entre les équipes de recherche de mise en œuvre (ERMO) et les Organisme de politiques et de recherche en santé (OPRS) pour le transfert de connaissances.

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Apr
24

Innovation pour la santé des mères et enfants d’Afrique : Renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage et d’application des résultats de la recherche pour améliorer la santé de la mère et de l’enfant

Du 24 au 27 avril 2017, l’Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé (OOAS) et le Centre de Recherche pour le Développement International (CRDI) co-organisent à Dakar au Sénégal, un atelier international à mi-Parcours sur  l’initiative ‘’Innovation pour la Santé des Mères et Enfants d’Afrique (ISMEA).

Près de 80 participants représentant les différentes structures impliquées (ECHSA Community et CEDEAO) assistent à cette rencontre dont le principal but est de renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage de la mise en œuvre de cette initiative au niveau national et régional et faciliter la collaboration entre les équipes de recherche de mise en œuvre (ERMO) et les Organisme de politiques et de recherche en santé (OPRS) pour le transfert de connaissances.

La rencontre a commencé dès le lundi par des travaux de groupes sur l’importance de l’évidence chez les décideurs, le transfert de connaissance et le rôle d’un décideur au sein d’une équipe de recherche, le renforcement de l’engagement politique, . Plus précisément, il s’agissait de savoir ce qui faisait qu’une évidence était relevante pour un décideur, la source des évidences pour les décideurs, comment l’évidence est utilisée par les décideurs, les perceptions des décideurs sur leurs rôles au sein des équipes de recherche et les mécanismes à mettre en place pour aider les décideurs a accéder, évaluer, adapter et utiliser les évidences. Un message des décideurs aux chercheurs a été de leur donner les évidences dans un langage compris par eux au bon moment avec toutes les informations leur permettant de mieux l’utiliser comme le coût, la mise en œuvre et la pérennité.

On retient des échanges qui ont eu lieu à la faveur des travaux de groupe, que la demande de transfert de connaissances est très forte à tous les niveaux. Il est donc important pour les chercheurs de trouver les stratégies appropriées pour informer efficacement les décideurs les amener à s’approprier les résultats de la recherche et surtout à les utiliser notamment dans l’élaboration des politiques.

La cérémonie d’ouverture officielle intervenue au lendemain de ces discussions a aussi été l’occasion pour les différents orateurs d’insister sur l’intérêt de la recherche pour les pays en général et singulièrement dans le domaine de la santé de la mère et de l’enfant. Différentes personnalités ont prit part à cette cérémonie notamment : le Conseiller Technique N°1 représentant la Ministre de la Santé et de l’Action Sociale du Sénégal, le Directeur Général Adjoint de l’OOAS, la représentante de l’Ambassade du Canada au Sénégal et le représentant du CRDI, mais aussi le Conseiller Technique du Ministre de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche Scientifique et le Conseiller Technique du Ministre de la Famille.

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Apr
01

Factsheet - Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa: Greater Access, Better Data and Improved Quality of Care

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Oct
22

Fourth Global Health Systems Research Symposium features innovative research on improving maternal and child health in Africa

It is women and children across developing countries who suffer most from the shocks and stresses to health systems. In South Sudan — a country ravaged by conflicts — limited infrastructure, lack of health information, and severe shortages of health personnel contribute to high levels of maternal and child mortality.

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1029 Hits
Oct
16

Abuja workshop calls for evidence-based policies to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria

Innovative interventions to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria were the focus of a workshop in Abuja on September 21, 2016. Nigeria has the second highest absolute number of maternal deaths and perinatal deaths in the world, contributing to approximately 15% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

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Jul
12

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Jul
12

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Jul
12

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