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The Role of Measurement in Tracking Progress When Scaling Up Maternal Health Interventions

As attention in maternal health shifts to a new emphasis on ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM) and addressing inequities, the tracking of progress will remain important. A key aspect of these future efforts will require the valid measurement of not only contact with maternal and newborn health services but also coverage of key interventions that reflect the quality of services received…read more

MHTF-PLOS Collection Call for Papers: Non-Communicable Diseases and Maternal Health Around the Globe

The causes of maternal mortality are complex and often begin well before a woman goes into labor or even becomes pregnant. Improving maternal health outcomes requires a comprehensive understanding of women’s health throughout the life course. Addressing the root causes of poor maternal health is especially important given the current “obstetric transition”: In many parts of the world, we are witnessing an epidemiological shift from mostly direct causes of maternal deaths to more indirect causes. The Maternal Health Task Force and PLOS ONE are delighted to announce the call for papers for the fifth annual MHTF-PLOS Collection: “Non-Communicable Diseases and Maternal Health Around the Globe.”…read more

Resource for Managing Postpartum Hemorrhage and Pre-eclampsia/ Eclampsia Now Available in Spanish!

We are excited to announce that the Obstetric Emergency Drills Training Kit, a free resource available for clinicians worldwide, is now available in Spanish! The Obstetric Emergency Drills Trainer’s Manual and accompanying resources were developed by the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) in Argentina and the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) as part of a research and training project. It is our hope that, when combined, these resources will be invaluable for clinicians seeking ways to prepare for obstetric emergencies and manage postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia…read more

Global Leaders in Maternal Newborn Health: Maria Fernandez Elorriaga (Mexico)

Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop participant Maria Fernandez Elorriaga is the principal investigator and technical coordinator of a study investigating the use of the World Health Organization Safe Childbirth Checklist to improve the quality of institutional delivery in Mexico. Maria is also co-investigator on two more studies of implementation science in maternal and perinatal care. In addition, Maria has worked as a primary and community care nurse in Spain, as a regional nutrition coordinator in Malawi and as child health and nutrition coordinator in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. Maria discusses challenges in maternal newborn health in Mexico and effective leadership…read more

Effective Antenatal Interventions to Prevent Maternal and Newborn Mortality

A recent study published in PLOS One reviews the current state of evidence on a number of antenatal interventions designed to reduce adverse maternal and newborn health outcomes. The authors analyze 21 types of interventions that fall into three categories: nutrition, infection and obstetrical/other…read more

Improving Quality of Care for Mothers and Newborns in Health Facilities: New Standards and Measures From the World Health Organization (WHO)

To combat preventable perinatal morbidity and mortality, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a framework for measuring and improving quality of maternal and newborn health care in facilities across the globe. The framework includes eight standards of high quality care and a comprehensive list of measures to identify quality gaps throughout the continuum of care for women and newborns…read more

Pre-eclampsia Education for All Moms: Strategies for Improving Pregnancy Outcomes

Research strongly suggests that maternal deaths due to pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are almost entirely preventable with timely and effective care, including the administration of antihypertensive medications to control blood pressure, magnesium sulfate to prevent eclampsia (seizures), and eventual delivery of the newborn. However, a patient’s lack of understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disease can impact her likelihood of seeking timely care. Recent research from the analysis of state-level maternal mortality by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative emphasizes that patient understanding of symptoms and the severity of the disease is crucial for improving outcomes and preventing maternal death…read more