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Scaling up: Ecuadorian Ministry of Health mobilizes resources to improve maternal and newborn care
Date:11/18/2013

e Ministry of Health applying this model across the country," said Dr. Jorge Hermida, CHS's Regional Director for Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. "It has the potential to save the lives of many mothers and newborns, giving them a chance to survive and thrive."

Working across all levels of care, the model focuses on strengthening links between the postnatal health care services provided in homes and communities and those provided through the formal health system. The model targeted the country's 21 most vulnerable and marginalized communities in Cotopaxi and used proven quality improvement methods, such as the collaborative improvement framework, to improve equitable coverage and quality of EONC services. One key component was making traditional birth attendants, community organizations, and other local agents an integral part of the EONC network. These "local experts" worked together to find locally appropriate, evidence-based solutions to rapidly improve service quality and efficiency in their communities.

Initial findings from a project evaluation conducted this past summer show that the model contributed to significant improvements in practices to improve the health of mothers and newborns. Quality of services improved nearly universally in project sites. For example, compliance with newborn care standards in facilities rose from 13% to 50%. Exclusive breastfeeding, a practice shown to be essential for good infant health and development, rose from 38% to 51%. Also, more mothers could name neonatal danger signs (from 75% to 97%). Many more women were prepared for birth (57% to 73%), and traditional birth attendants (who provide care for many home births) referred more women with complications to health care facilities (50% to 83%). The percentage of clients who expressed satisfaction with health care services rose from 65% to 98%. The evaluation also found that visits by trained health care providers within the first two days after b
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Contact: Dr. Jorge Hermida
jhermida@urc-chs.com
593-224-28697
University Research Co., LLC
Source:Eurekalert

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