Maternal Health Task Force

MHTF Blog

A Maternity Ward during the Ebola Outbreak: My Experience as an Ebola Fighter

There are so many ways to become famous; unfortunately West Africa will mark human being history by being the area on Earth which experienced the worst Ebola outbreak. Ebola disease was known since 1976, but in this part of the world, no one was having an idea about it in November 2013 when the first cases started in Guinea Conakry. The weakness of the health system, the poor communication, the lack of coordination and resources contributed to the quick and large spread of the disease all over the subregion. Ebola created fear and panic in the societies of all countries affected; a lot of health facilities closed because health workers- who paid a huge tribute during this outbreak became afraid to treat any patients with Ebola-like symptoms. So the virus was killing one person directly and several others indirectly—mainly women—because all complications during pregnancy present similarly to Ebola (e.g. infection, eclampsia, bleeding, etc). Our intervention as Ebola fighters was less to treat patients affected by the virus than to avoid that those who were not Ebola infected died due to lack of proper care... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Cross-post Maternal Health

Topics:

Upcoming maternal health webinars and events!

Merging Marketing and Gender Analysis Perspectives on Family Planning in the DRC This July 2 webinar considers the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has one of the world’s lowest rates of modern contraceptive use: 8% among all women of reproductive age. In the DRC, male partners are the primary decision makers when it comes... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

Topics:

How to measure the quality of facility-based labor and delivery care in sub-Saharan Africa

Yesterday, quality measures for maternal health were published in PLoS ONE in an attempt to fill the need for better definitions and tools for measuring and improving quality in labor and delivery (L&D) care. Over the past decade, we have seen a profound shift in the use of maternal health services. Now, more than ever, women are delivering in health facilities, with an estimated 64% of women in developing countries and 51% of women in the 69 poorest countries giving birth in facilities in 2012. Studies have shown that maternal mortality can stagnate even as facility deliveries increase rapidly, most likely due to poor quality of care. It is most crucial to improve information about the quality of L&D care. In order to fill this need, we surveyed global maternal and newborn care experts to build a consensus on the dimensions of quality of care in the intrapartum and immediate postpartum period... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

Topics:

Mexican Association of Midwifery holds its first regional forum

By Arianna Taboada, Independent Research Consultant, and Lauren French Beam Hoy, AMP Board Member Last month, the Mexican Association of Midwifery (Asociación Mexicana de Partería or AMP) held their first regional forum in Tulum, Mexico with the fitting title of “Mexican Midwifery: Between Resilience and Innovation”. The forum attracted over 100 diverse participants in this... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

Topics:

Stigma & the language of mental health in mothers

How do we talk about mental illness in pregnancy? Well, we don’t. Not that we don’t know about it at all; pregnancy-related mental illness, for the most part, is well-recognised culturally. But it’s not what mothers talk about while they work and watch their children play. Together with their partners (where partners are supportive), new mothers struggle to come to terms with symptoms they themselves can barely articulate. Both the women and their partners feel alone, while unknown to them, similar experiences within their own circle of friends and family members might well abound... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Maternal Health Mental Health: The Missing Piece in Maternal Health Series

Topics:

#EndDisrespect: Let’s talk about respectful maternity care

Yesterday, the MHTF, Pathfinder International and White Ribbon Alliance hosted a tweet chat on respectful maternity care. With the tweet chat, we hoped to bring organizations and people working in maternal health together on Twitter to talk about how disrespect and abuse impact health outcomes for mothers and newborns, how providers may knowingly and unknowingly carry out... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

Topics:

How to treat maternal depression in rural Ghana

Until recently, the health system in Ghana had been quite silent on maternal depression, which had a number of consequences on maternal and newborn outcomes. To address this need, The National Catholic Health Service, with funds from Grand Challenge Canada, rolled out a quality improvement project to reduce the treatment gap for perinatal depression in seven facilities in four regions in Ghana to improve early identification and treatment of maternally depressed women... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Maternal Health Mental Health: The Missing Piece in Maternal Health Series

Topics:

Addressing maternal mental health through the antenatal platform: A missed opportunity

Across most settings, and particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), antenatal care (ANC) is a critically missed opportunity to identify and support women with common mental health problems. ANC attendance in many LMICs is high and increasing and is one of the few junctures in a woman’s life where accessing health services is likely and may also be the first time she connects to the formal health system. From a practical perspective, introducing mental health screening and psychosocial interventions through ANC would allow more women to receive the screening, diagnosis and treatment they need, since postpartum care reaches only half the number of women that ANC does... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Maternal Health Mental Health: The Missing Piece in Maternal Health Series

Topics:

The importance of listening to women

Medical systems have historically devalued women’s experience with illness, often resulting in diagnoses and treatments that are not appropriate or relevant for women’s lives. Postpartum depression is no exception. One way to design more responsive health services is to thoughtfully listen to the experiences of women who are in a position to offer deep information about their disorder. We know that in Mexico, just under 20% of women experience depressive symptoms within the first five years of giving birth. What do the women themselves have to say about their experience of postpartum depression? What words do they use to talk about it? What are the problems it causes for them and what are their strategies for recovery? This is what we wanted to know and so we set out to listen to women... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Maternal Health Mental Health: The Missing Piece in Maternal Health Series

Topics:

Where are neonatal nurses in global strategies?

Having worked as neonatal nurses and educators for more than three decades collectively, we know that newborns who are born prematurely or sick are linked to either maternal perinatal health or the intrapartum experience. According to WHO, 45% of all under five deaths occur during the neonatal period (the first 28 days of life). New strategies seek to address the intrinsic link between maternal and newborn health outcomes. But nurses, a large segment of the health workforce, have for the most part been silent, or at least not active participants, in the construction of these plans. In the last few years, neonatal nurses have been asked to contribute only after much of the work has been done. Why is this so?... read more

Categories: Contributor Posts Maternal Health MMR Post-2015 Targets Series

Topics:

Post navigation