Maternal Health: from guidelines to practice

Maternal Health: from guidelines to practice
Principal Registered Nurse Selohgla Thupe examines a pregnant woman during an antenatal clinic at the Ghanzi Clinic in the town of Ghanzi in Botswana in November 2010. ©UNICEF/Nesbitt


Strengthening drug procurement, monitor policies and practices, recruit and train health care workers link the facility and the community, and increase patient and community awareness: these are some of the findings from a research activity  that looks at how to implement WHO maternal and perinatal guidelines in Uganda and Tanzania.


Informed by global priorities set by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, the World Health organization (WHO), University of Toronto, PATH and the Ministries of Health in Uganda and Tanzania collaborated to implement four key WHO maternal and perinatal guidelines: 1) Prevention and treatment of post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) (2012); 2) Prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (2011); 3) Induction of labour (2012); and 4) Augmentation of labour (2014).


The partners set out to research the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the four priority guidelines in Uganda and Tanzania, through focus groups discussions, large groups discussions and surveys involving healthcare administrators, policymakers, non-governmental organization staff, representatives from professional associations, frontline healthcare providers, midwives and researchers.


They identified barriers and facilitators at the level of the health care system, health care provider and patient/community. The key findings will be used to develop strategies for improving local use of the guidelines.


This research is part of a series of guideline implementation activities supported by the GREAT (Guideline-driven, Research priorities, Evidence synthesis, Application of evidence, and Transfer of knowledge) Network established in 2012 by the WHO, St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH)/University of Toronto and international partnerships with low and middle income countries.


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