Malick Kante | October 2015
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Presentation at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, October 19, 2015

Background: Recent global commitments have affirmed the need to integrate maternal and newborn health to ensure that women and newborns thrive, not just survive. Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) Assessments provide the depth and scope of facility level information required to make results-oriented decisions to improve maternal and newborn care, but the potential contribution to newborn care improvements has often been overlooked.  In recognition of this vital link, neonatal resuscitation was added as an EmOC signal function in 2009, but cross country comparative analyses of newborn care have been missing.

Methodology: Utilizing data in the publicly available EmONC assessment reports we analyzed selected variables in common regarding multi-level health system readiness and performance of neonatal resuscitation. EmONC assessments are cross-sectional health facility assessments typically designed to include all hospitals and a sample or restricted census of lower level health facilities, providing a pre-set threshold of delivery services. We identified 25 EmONC assessments across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, which were conducted since 2009 and included newborn resuscitation as a signal function.

Results: We will present recent performance of the neonatal resuscitation with ambu bag and mask in the context of essential health system supports required to perform neonatal resuscitation.  These include the availability, skills and knowledge of health providers, availability of equipment, and other reasons described as barriers to its performance.

Conclusion: EmONC assessment data are a rich source for tracking the progress of governments and partners as they strengthen the capacity of health workers and their work environments to provide neonatal resuscitation. Results also point to where efforts should be doubled, particularly health centers, which are often lacking in equipment and trained personnel. The EmONC assessment is an expanding platform to include additional newborn signal functions for both routine delivery as well as emergency care.