Tanzania inter-country meeting on maternal death surveillance and response
16-18 February 2012 | Dar Es Salaam - The WHO Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, as focal point for maternal deaths surveillance and response (MDSR) under the Commission of Information and Accountability, in collaboration with AFRO HPR and other partners conducted an inter-country MDSR meeting in Tanzania.
The goal of the meeting was to build regional and country capacities towards institutionalization of MDSR for improving quality of care in Africa.
Specific objectives were:
- map current maternal death review (MDR) initiatives:
- review current status of country MDR processes and methodologies;
- identify major bottlenecks for MDR implementation
- update information on tools for MDSR (including new information technologies, both at community & facility levels);
- identify specific country needs and develop country plans for implementing and scaling up of MDSR.
The meeting sessions covered the following key areas: (i) the status of maternal deaths review in Africa; (ii) the concept of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR); (iii) country presentations on MDR policy and practice; (iv) MDSR technical updates; (v) Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response as a tool for notification of maternal deaths in the African Region; (vi) near-miss review guide; (vii) updates on ICD-10 classification; (viii) perinatal deaths review; (ix) midwifery education and MDR; (x) advocacy for MDSR and (xi) MDSR country plans.
Experiences from participating countries were shared, showing different levels of MDR process implementation, with at least facility – based maternal deaths review implemented to varying extent in all countries, but maternal deaths notification component not yet institutionalized.
Based on identified needs, country teams proposed solutions for their respective countries to take the MDSR agenda forward, including its key components of maternal death notification, review and response. Participants agreed on specific recommendations and action points to help effective MDSR implementation of MDSR in countries.
A total of 49 participants attended the meeting, with representatives of Ministries of Health from 10 African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Participants also included WHO staff from WCOs, RO, ISTs Western Africa; Eastern and Southern Africa and MCA Department (HQ). Regional and global partners were represented, with participants from UNFPA, UNICEF, CDC, E4A, USAID, AMREF, TULANE University, JHPIEGO and DANIDA.