URC Contributes to the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference

URC staff from several countries will participate in the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference January 15–17 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Improving quality of care to eliminate preventable maternal deaths and disability is the theme of this year's conference, co-sponsored by Management and Development for Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.

According to the World Health Organization, about 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Although there is encouraging progress on the global front, many of the countries shouldering the highest burdens of maternal mortality are still far from meeting their Millennium Development Goal number five target to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

URC and its non-profit affiliate the Center for Human Services (CHS) are recognized leaders in supporting host countries and partners to adopt state-of-the-art improvement approaches to scale up improved quality of care for leading causes of maternal and newborn mortality in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to supporting health system strengthening and improving the quality of service delivery, URC has a long track record of conducting and supporting operations and implementation research on closing the "know-do" gap between evidence-based, high-impact health care interventions and their reliable delivery in struggling health systems.

In recent years, URC and CHS staff have been at the forefront of several cutting-edge maternal health areas, including the integration of informal and formal health systems in settings with high rates of home births; the promotion of respectful and culturally responsive maternal care as a central quality issue; the evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of distinct improvement approaches; the evaluation of the evidence related to use of financial incentives and their effects on the quality of maternal care in low- and middle-income countries; innovative approaches to improve performance of health workers and enhance their roles as part of team-based health service delivery (e.g., task-shifting, performance improvement); and the integration of noncommunicable disease screening and care services into routine maternal and reproductive health care services.

The presentations below will describe a sampling of ongoing URC-CHS work at this year's conference, with representation from the following projects: USAID Translating Research into Action (TRAction) project; USAID Health Care Improvement (HCI) project; USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project; USAID Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care (EONC) Networks project in Cotopaxi, Ecuador; and USAID Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT) project in Ghana.


Respectful Maternal Health Care
Thursday, January 17, 9:00-10:30, Simba Hall (ground floor)
Moderator: Rose Mlay, White Ribbon Alliance

  • Kathleen Hill, TRAction, URC
  • Charlotte Warren, Population Council (Principal Investigator for TRAction-funded Implementation Research in Kenya)
  • Brenda d'Mello, CCBRT
  • Mande Limbu, White Ribbon Alliance


Linking Health Systems with Communities to Deliver for Vulnerable Women: Innovative Local Solutions for Improving Equity, Access to and Demand for Quality Maternal Care
Tuesday, January 15, 15:30-17:00, Twiga Room (7th floor)
Moderator: Nazo Kureshy, USAID

  • Jorge Hermida, EONC, CHS
  • Nazo Kureshy, USAID
  • Laura Altobelli, Future Generations
  • Nene Diallo, Africare
  • Qayyum Noorani, Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan

Measuring Quality of Maternal Care: For What Purpose?
Wednesday, January 16, 13:30-15:30, Mbuni Room (7th floor)
Moderator: Deborah Armbruster, USAID
Panelists: Jorge Hermida and Kathleen Hill, HCI and ASSIST, URC


Empowering Health Care Providers to Improve the Quality Of Maternal Health Care Using Low Cost, High Impact QI Interventions in Two Districts of Western Uganda
By Paul Isabirye, HCI and ASSIST
Tuesday, January 15, 15:30–17:00, SB-312A

Financial Incentives to Improve Quality of Maternal Care? Current Evidence and Future Needs
By Kathleen Hill and Emily Peca, TRAction
Thursday, January 17, 15:30-17:00, Kagera Room (7th floor)

Improving the Quality of Malaria-in-Pregnancy Prevention and Care in Ghana, 2010-2012
By Kwabena Larbi (on behalf of Aguima Tankoano), ProMPT
Thursday, January 17, 11:00-12:30, SB-312A


SIDE MEETING (convened by White Ribbon Alliance)

Global Community of Concern on Respectful Maternity Care
Wednesday, January 16, 12:30–1:30, Twiga Room (7th floor)
Moderator: Kathleen Hill, TRAction, URC
TRAction-affiliated speaker: Lynn Freedman, Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, Columbia University


January 10, 2013
Regions/ Countries