Countdown to 2030 Holds its 4th Maternal and Newborn Health Workshop

The Countdown to 2030 Multi-Country Analysis Project: Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) strategies for essential and emergency obstetric and neonatal care is holding its 4th MNH workshop in Lusaka, Zambia, Nov 28 – Dec 1, 2023.

 The purpose of this workshop is for 21 African countries teams to finalize and synthesize their phase one results around whether the policies, health system inputs, and current MNH service coverage are safe, equitable, or effective. The participants are also developing a report with key recommendations that can guide future strategic discussions for accelerating reductions of maternal and newborn mortality within countries and the region. In particular, these could inform the balance of routine, BEmONC, and CEmONC services across facility levels to adequately provide safe, equitable, and effective care based on the country’s maternal mortality, stillbirth, and neonatal mortality transition stage.

Participants are also being introduced to project phase two objectives. Consultation with countries on whether they have the interest, capacity, and data to continue in the next phase is being held. Country teams who have participated in the project’s phase one study and provided the required datasets have been invited, including two members of each team (ideally MNH principal investigator and analyst, one from a research institution and one from the Ministry of Health). The workshop format is a combination of presentations and group discussions within and across countries.

Country and cross-country evidence to understand the tension between MNH care provided at physically close but low-capacity facilities, versus further-away but higher capacity facilities is needed to inform national and global decisions on future strategies for MNH service organization and resourcing.

In a second phase, the project will assess the readiness of facilities and quality of care to provide safe childbirth conditions, building on recently published studies in Liberia and Senegal. This will be contextualized by assessing key MNH-related policies and health systems data related to service organization, resourcing and integration of delivery care services. The results will be considered within a maternal, stillbirth and neonatal mortality transition model to aid comparative analysis and benchmarking at national and subnational levels.