WHO’s Who: A quality of care network

India is one of the first 9 countries to commit to cutting in half the number of maternal deaths and stillbirths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF’s “Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health,” was launched in Malawi in February 2017. To achieve this, the government of India and those of the other partner countries (Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda) will work on a roadmap to improve maternal and newborn Quality of Care (QoC).

Broadly speaking, Maternity Care boils down to two things:

  1. A mother-to be’s access to care
  2. Quality of care

Women in many parts of the world struggle to access good basic healthcare.  The good news is that widespread efforts are on not just to improve the availability of maternity healthcare, but also the Quality of Care (QoC).

When broken down to its lowest common denominator, QoC is simply:

  1. What  kind of care a woman experiences during labour and childbirth
  2. How the healthcare providers actually provide it

The Network has some pretty impressive big-picture goals:

  • Spare millions of mothers and newborns preventable complications during childbirth, bringing down the maternal mortality and stillbirth rates in target areas by 50%.
  • Bring context-driven, adaptable solutions to health workers in resource-strapped healthcare areas
  • Partner with countries who consider the health of women and children vital to social and economic development
  • Liaise with the right on-the-ground development partners in various countries to reduce maternal mortality worldwide

On an operational level, the partnering countries will:

  • Identify QoC focal points at all levels of the health system
  • Pilot the district implementation model in selected states and districts
  • Accelerate and sustain the implementation of QoC programs
  • Align the National Quality Assurance System with WHO guidelines
  • Enable quality assurance teams at healthcare facilities to monitor and implement the QoC measures using the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle.
  • Endeavour to bring in a culture of quality, facilitate learning, knowledge sharing and accountability across the board.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others, are also partnered up with the WHO and UNICEF in this program.

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References:

  1. http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/topics/quality-of-care/network/en/
  2. http://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/india-joins-8-nations-to-improve-quality-of-care-around-birth/57577364
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