18 December 2017

New Brief on RMC and HRH

AMDD, in collaboration with the Respectful Maternity Care Advisory Council, is pleased to launch a brief on the role that human resources for health (HRH) play in the provision of respectful maternity care. This brief, available here, is the third in a series of briefs developed with members of the Council. The earlier briefs may be accessed on our Resources page under Issue Briefs.

11 December 2017

Respectful maternity care briefs

AMDD launched two new briefs on Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) at the Global Respectful Maternity Care Advisory Council’s quarterly meeting on December 11. Developed in collaboration with members of the Council, these briefs are intended to provide an overview of the RMC movement and its intersections with related fields. The first brief (available here) details the global phenomenon of disrespect and abuse (D&A) during facility-based childbirth and describes the human rights, health, and economic justification for RMC. The second (available here) describes the potential role of social accountability efforts in achieving RMC. Additional briefs are in progress and will be launched shortly.

30 November 2017

New Grant to study impact of Expanded mexico city policy

The Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has received $2 million to measure the impact of the expanded Mexico City Policy on the health and wellbeing of women and health providers. The study will assess the current policy’s impact and its effect on policy and practice relating to sexual and reproductive health services in Kenya and Nepal, and eventually expand to other countries. The research team will be led by Terry McGovern, JD, Chair of the Department, and include researchers from the Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) program and the RAISE initiative. Read the full press release here.

11 July 2017

Intervention to reduce D&A during childbirth

AMDD and Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) staff and colleagues Stephanie Kujawski, Lynn Freedman, Kate Ramsey, Godfrey Mbaruku, Selemani Mbuyita, Wema Moyo and Margaret Kruk have published an article in PLOS Medicine entitled “Community and health system intervention to reduce disrespect and abuse during childbirth in Tanga Region, Tanzania: A comparative before-and-after study.” The article discusses the Staha (‘respect,’ in Swahili) project, which was an effort to reduce disrespect and abuse in maternity care in Tanzania.  The project consisted of two main components: a client service charter to establish norms and standards for respectful maternity care (RMC), and a maternity quality improvement process for addressing disrespect and abuse. Following the intervention, there was a decrease in the percent of women who experienced D&A, which suggests that supporting frontline community- and facility-based actors to identify and act on the symptoms and causes of disrespect and abuse in their own settings may be associated with a reduction of disrespectful treatment. The full article is open-access, and can be accessed here

3 July 2017

Lynn Freedman quoted in NYT

In a New York Times article entitled “Enticing Pregnant Women in Liberia to Give Birth in Health Centers,” AMDD Director Lynn Freedman describes the risks of implementing policies that penalize home birth in low- and middle-income countries. The complete article, written by Aneri Pattani, can be found here.

14 June 2017

‘Think-in’ on Community Health Workers

In partnership with the Accountability Research Center (ARC) at American University, AMDD hosted a ‘think-in’ on “Community Health Worker Voice, Power, and Citizens’ Right to Health.”  The workshop took place on June 12-13 at American University. Thirty researchers, practitioners, and civil society representatives from eight countries provided diverse perspectives on CHWs’ potential to serve as accountability agents and on context-specific factors that enable or hinder their ability to hold health systems accountable to the communities they serve, including: relationships with communities, power relations within governance and health system structures, degree of labor organization among CHWs, and CHW will and capacity to perform accountability roles. The workshop provided a venue for participants to brainstorm potential research agendas relating to CHWs. If you are interested in learning more about the meeting, please check out this blog authored by meeting participants.

24 January 2017

AMDD discusses Urban MNH at the Wilson Center

Lynn Freedman and Shanon McNab presented the results of a global scoping on “The Urban Disadvantage: Maternal and Newborn Inequalities Among the Urban Poor” at an event hosted by the Wilson Center and Save the Children.  Their presentations shed light on the complexities of urban maternal newborn health (MNH); the need to transform our program models, which assume a rural context, to better fit urban realities; and the future of the urban MNH field.

As an increasing proportion of the world’s population shifts to urban settings, there is a growing need to focus on the unique needs of urban dwellers. Especially in slums, limited access to public health care, low levels of care-seeking, and hazardous living conditions are among the factors contributing to an “urban disadvantage.” Despite recognition of its importance for the future of the planet and human health, very little is work is currently being done in urban MNH or to rethink MNH for cities; the field is wide open for shaping priorities and approaches and for innovation. Moving forward, organizations should consider what has and has not worked in implementation and prepare for the unique challenges of urban interventions.

The complete webcast, which includes commentary by Save the Children’s Robert Clay and Lani Crane, is available here.

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