Quality of basic maternal care functions in health facilities of five African countries: an analysis of national health system surveys

by Margaret E Kruk, Hannah H Leslie, Stéphane Verguet et al.
Lancet Glob Health 2016 – Published Online September 23, 2016

11 pp. 613 kB

Global efforts to increase births at health-care facilities might not reduce maternal or newborn mortality if quality of care is insufficient. However, little systematic evidence exists for the quality at health facilities caring for women and newborn babies in low-income countries. The authors found that more than 40% of facility deliveries in five African countries occurred in primary care facilities, which scored poorly on basic measures of maternal care quality. Facilities with caesarean section capacity, particularly those with birth volumes higher than 500 per year, had higher scores for maternal care quality. Low-income and middle-income countries should systematically assess and improve the quality of delivery care in health facilities to accelerate reduction of maternal and newborn deaths.

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