First Issue of Global Health: Science and Practice Features New Research on Factors Contributing to Maternal Deaths in Uttar Pradesh, India

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By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultant

The first issue of the Global Health: Science and Practice, a new open access journal that focuses on publishing evidence that supports the improvement of health programs around the world is being launched this month.  The journal is a project of the Knowledge for Health Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health -Center for Communication Programs, with support from USAID and in collaboration with the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Programs. Though a launch event will be held tomorrow, March 26, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, content from the journal is already online.

From the launch announcement:

Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP), a new open-access journal, was developed for global health professionals, particularly program implementers, to validate their experiences and program results by peer reviewers and to share them with the greater global health community.

Among the highlights of the first issue isMeeting the community halfway to reduce maternal deaths? Evidence from a community-based maternal death review in Uttar Pradesh, India, an article by Sunil Saksena Raj,  Deborah Maine,  Pratap Kumar Sahoo, Suneedh Manthria, and Kavita Chauhana that used verbal autopsies to identify major factors contributing to maternal deaths. The analysis, which applied the three delays model to assess the role of delays in seeking care, getting to health facilities and getting care once at health facilities found that:

Life-saving treatment of obstetric complications was not offered at the appropriate level of government facilities in a representative district in UP, and an inadequate referral system provided fatal delays. Expensive transportation costs to get pregnant women to a functioning medical facility also contributed to maternal death. The maternal death review, coupled with the facility gap assessment, is a useful tool to address the adequacy of emergency obstetric and neonatal care services to prevent further maternal deaths.

Other articles in the first issue highlight a range of issues that are closely related to maternal health, including behavior change communication and child nutrition, and challenges for family planning programs to meet African women’s desires for smaller families.

For more, including instructions for submitting a manuscript for potential publication, visit GHSP online here, follow GHSP on Facebook or Twitter.