Implementing Maternal Death Surveillance and Response in Kenya: Incremental Progress and Lessons Learned.



Smith, Helen, Ameh, Charles ORCID: 0000-0002-2341-7605, Godia, Pamela, Maua, Judith, Bartilol, Kigen, Amoth, Patrick, Mathai, Matthews and van den Broek, Nynke
(2017) Implementing Maternal Death Surveillance and Response in Kenya: Incremental Progress and Lessons Learned. Global health, science and practice, 5 (3). 345 - 354.

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Abstract

Maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) constitutes a quality improvement approach to identify how many maternal deaths occur, what the underlying causes of death and associated factors are, and how to implement actions to reduce the number of preventable stillbirths and maternal and neonatal deaths. This requires a coordinated approach, ensuring both national- and district-level stakeholders are enabled and supported and can implement MDSR in a "no name, no blame" environment. This field action report from Kenya provides an example of how MDSR can be implemented in a "real-life" setting by summarizing the experiences and challenges faced thus far by maternal death assessors and Ministry of Health representatives in implementing MDSR. Strong national leadership via a coordinating secretariat has worked well in Kenya. However, several challenges were encountered including underreporting of data, difficulties with reviewing the data, and suboptimal aggregation of data on cause of death. To ensure progress toward a full national enquiry of all maternal deaths, we recommend improving the notification of maternal deaths, ensuring regular audits and feedback at referral hospitals lead to continuous quality improvement, and strengthening community linkages with health facilities to expedite maternal death reporting. Ultimately, both a top-down and bottom-up approach is needed to ensure success of an MDSR system. Perinatal death surveillance and response is planned as a next phase of MDSR implementation in Kenya. To ensure the process continues to evolve into a full national enquiry of all maternal deaths, we recommend securing longer-term budget allocation and financial commitment from the ministry, securing a national legal framework for MDSR, and improving processes at the subnational level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Population Surveillance, Health Policy, Program Development, Kenya, Female, Quality Improvement, Maternal Death
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 14:13
DOI: 10.9745/GHSP-D-17-00130
Open Access URL: http://doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-17-00130
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3032505
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