URC Project Issues Report on Maternal-Newborn Care in Four Countries in Europe/Eurasia

The USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) recently issued a report describing the results of a four-country assessment, funded by the US Agency for International Development, of high-impact maternal and newborn childbirth practices in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. Conducted between late 2010 and early 2011 and covering 42 maternities, the assessment examined high-impact childbirth and early postpartum maternal-newborn practices. It focused on cross-cutting health system functions and provider and client attitudes, knowledge, and practices. 

The sampled maternities evinced solid coverage of many best practices. This finding undoubtedly results in part to high stakeholder (including by USAID’s) investment in the region, the report indicates, and is reflected in the countries’ declining maternal and neonatal mortality rates. However, the region’s persistently high rates of maternal and newborn mortality compared to those in more developed countries indicate a need to focus on service delivery weaknesses. Moreover, highly medicalized care in the region—even for routine, uncomplicated deliveries—is not likely cost-effective over the long-term, according to the report.

The report recommends focusing on closing the gap between known best practices and observed practices for maternal and neonatal conditions that result in high rates of mortality and morbidity. Specific recommendations would improve care in: 1) labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum care; 2) early postpartum care; 3) complications care; 4) client-centered best practices; and 5) health system recommendations to improve care delivery.

August 30, 2012
Regions/ Countries