Joy E Lawn

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (214)3257.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: In 2013, an estimated 2.8 million newborns died and 2.7 million were stillborn. A much greater number suffer from long term impairment associated with preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital anomalies, and perinatal or infectious causes. With the approaching deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, there was a need to set the new research priorities on newborns and stillbirth with a focus not only on survival but also on health, growth and development. We therefore carried out a systematic exercise to set newborn health research priorities for 2013-2025. Methods: We used adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methods for this prioritization exercise. We identified and approached the 200 most productive researchers and 400 program experts, and 132 of them submitted research questions online. These were collated into a set of 205 research questions, sent for scoring to the 600 identified experts, and were assessed and scored by 91 experts. Results: Nine out of top ten identified priorities were in the domain of research on improving delivery of known interventions, with simplified neonatal resuscitation program and clinical algorithms and improved skills of community health workers leading the list. The top 10 priorities in the domain of development were led by ideas on improved Kangaroo Mother Care at community level, how to improve the accuracy of diagnosis by community health workers, and perinatal audits. The 10 leading priorities for discovery research focused on stable surfactant with novel modes of administration for preterm babies, ability to diagnose fetal distress and novel tocolytic agents to delay or stop preterm labour. Conclusion: These findings will assist both donors and researchers in supporting and conducting research to close the knowledge gaps for reducing neonatal mortality, morbidity and long term impairment. WHO, SNL and other partners will work to generate interest among key national stakeholders, governments, NGOs, and research institutes in these priorities, while encouraging research funders to support them. We will track research funding, relevant requests for proposals and trial registers to monitor if the priorities identified by this exercise are being addressed.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Despite current prevention efforts, outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections in neonatal units remain high globally, with a considerable burden of mortality and morbidity. We searched Medline, Cochrane Library and Outbreak database to identify studies of neonatal healthcare-associated outbreaks between 2005 and 2015 that described interventions to control outbreaks. All studies were evaluated using the ORION guidance. Thirty studies were identified including 17 102 infants of whom 664 (3.9%) became infected. No single intervention was identified that reduced duration or mortality. Studies that introduced multiple interventions had significantly reduced case fatality ratio and outbreak duration compared to those that used basic surveillance only. Low and low-middle income countries reported the fewest interventions to control outbreaks and these studies were also associated with higher mortality than that found in middle and high income countries. Systematic reporting and formal evaluation of interventions used to reduce healthcare-associated neonatal infection outbreaks is key to identifying containment strategies worldwide.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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    ABSTRACT: An estimated 2·6 million third trimester stillbirths occurred in 2015 (uncertainty range 2·4–3·0 million). The number of stillbirths has reduced more slowly than has maternal mortality or mortality in children younger than 5 years, which were explicitly targeted in the Millennium Development Goals. The Every Newborn Action Plan has the target of 12 or fewer stillbirths per 1000 births in every country by 2030. 94 mainly high-income countries and upper middle-income countries have already met this target, although with noticeable disparities. At least 56 countries, particularly in Africa and in areas affected by conflict, will have to more than double present progress to reach this target. Most (98%) stillbirths are in low-income and middle-income countries. Improved care at birth is essential to prevent 1·3 million (uncertainty range 1·2–1·6 million) intrapartum stillbirths, end preventable maternal and neonatal deaths, and improve child development. Estimates for stillbirth causation are impeded by various classification systems, but for 18 countries with reliable data, congenital abnormalities account for a median of only 7·4% of stillbirths. Many disorders associated with stillbirths are potentially modifiable and often coexist, such as maternal infections (population attributable fraction: malaria 8·0% and syphilis 7·7%), non-communicable diseases, nutrition and lifestyle factors (each about 10%), and maternal age older than 35 years (6·7%). Prolonged pregnancies contribute to 14·0% of stillbirths. Causal pathways for stillbirth frequently involve impaired placental function, either with fetal growth restriction or preterm labour, or both. Two-thirds of newborns have their births registered. However, less than 5% of neonatal deaths and even fewer stillbirths have death registration. Records and registrations of all births, stillbirths, neonatal, and maternal deaths in a health facility would substantially increase data availability. Improved data alone will not save lives but provide a way to target interventions to reach more than 7000 women every day worldwide who experience the reality of stillbirth.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts to achieve the new worldwide goals for maternal and child survival will also prevent stillbirth and improve health and developmental outcomes. However, the number of annual stillbirths remains unchanged since 2011 and is unacceptably high: an estimated 2·6 million in 2015. Failure to consistently include global targets or indicators for stillbirth in post-2015 initiatives shows that stillbirths are hidden in the worldwide agenda. This Series paper summarises findings from previous papers in this Series, presents new analyses, and proposes specific criteria for successful integration of stillbirths into post-2015 initiatives for women's and children's health. Five priority areas to change the stillbirth trend include intentional leadership; increased voice, especially of women; implementation of integrated interventions with commensurate investment; indicators to measure effect of interventions and especially to monitor progress; and investigation into crucial knowledge gaps. The post-2015 agenda represents opportunities for all stakeholders to act together to end all preventable deaths, including stillbirths.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: This first paper of the Lancet Series on ending preventable stillbirths reviews progress in essential areas, identified in the 2011 call to action for stillbirth prevention, to inform the integrated post-2015 agenda for maternal and newborn health. Worldwide attention to babies who die in stillbirth is rapidly increasing, from integration within the new Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health, to country policies inspired by the Every Newborn Action Plan. Supportive new guidance and metrics including stillbirth as a core health indicator and measure of quality of care are emerging. Prenatal health is a crucial biological foundation to life-long health. A key priority is to integrate action for prenatal health within the continuum of care for maternal and newborn health. Still, specific actions for stillbirths are needed for advocacy, policy formulation, monitoring, and research, including improvement in the dearth of data for effective coverage of proven interventions for prenatal survival. Strong leadership is needed worldwide and in countries. Institutions with a mandate to lead global efforts for mothers and their babies must assert their leadership to reduce stillbirths by promoting healthy and safe pregnancies.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: Variation in stillbirth rates across high-income countries and large equity gaps within high-income countries persist. If all high-income countries achieved stillbirth rates equal to the best performing countries, 19 439 late gestation (28 weeks or more) stillbirths could have been avoided in 2015. The proportion of unexplained stillbirths is high and can be addressed through improvements in data collection, investigation, and classification, and with a better understanding of causal pathways. Substandard care contributes to 20–30% of all stillbirths and the contribution is even higher for late gestation intrapartum stillbirths. National perinatal mortality audit programmes need to be implemented in all high-income countries. The need to reduce stigma and fatalism related to stillbirth and to improve bereavement care are also clear, persisting priorities for action. In high-income countries, a woman living under adverse socioeconomic circumstances has twice the risk of having a stillborn child when compared to her more advantaged counterparts. Programmes at community and country level need to improve health in disadvantaged families to address these inequities.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: An estimated 2.8 million neonatal deaths occur annually worldwide. The vulnerability of newborns makes the timeliness of seeking and receiving care critical for neonatal survival and prevention of long-term sequelae. To better understand the role active referrals by community health workers play in neonatal careseeking, we synthesize data on referral completion rates for neonates with danger signs predictive of mortality or major morbidity in low- and middle-income countries. A systematic review was conducted in May 2014 of the following databases: Medline-PubMed, Embase, and WHO databases. We also searched grey literature. In addition, an investigator group was established to identify unpublished data on newborn referral and completion rates. Inquiries were made to the network of research groups supported by Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives project and other relevant research groups. Three Sub-Saharan African and five South Asian studies reported data on community-to-facility referral completion rates. The studies varied on factors such as referral rates, the assessed danger signs, frequency of home visits in the neonatal period, and what was done to facilitate referrals. Neonatal referral completion rates ranged from 34 to 97 %, with the median rate of 74 %. Four studies reported data on the early neonatal period; early neonatal completion rates ranged from 46 to 97 %, with a median of 70 %. The definition of referral completion differed by studies, in aspects such as where the newborns were referred to and what was considered timely completion. Existing literature reports a wide range of neonatal referral completion rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia following active illness surveillance. Interpreting these referral completion rates is challenging due to the great variation in study design and context. Often, what qualifies as referral and/or referral completion is poorly defined, which makes it difficult to aggregate existing data to draw appropriate conclusions that can inform programs. Further research is necessary to continue highlighting ways for programs, governments, and policymakers to best aid families in low-resource settings in protecting their newborns from major health consequences.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Further progress in decreasing child mortality depends on reducing the 2·9 million neonatal deaths each year, around a quarter of which are directly due to infection.1 However, systemic underfunding is limiting research and threatens further advances. The need is great: an estimated 6·9 million neonates required treatment for possible serious bacterial infection in 2012 in high-burden settings,2 and the Global Burden of Disease Study estimates suggest that neonatal infections account for around 3% of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), with insufficient data to estimate long-term disability after sepsis or pneumonia.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Lancet Global Health
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    ABSTRACT: Conceived in 2003 and born in 2005 with the launch of its first report and country profiles, the Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Survival has reached its originally proposed lifespan. Major reductions in the deaths of mothers and children have occurred since Countdown's inception, even though most of the 75 priority countries failed to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. The coverage of life-saving interventions tracked in Countdown increased steadily over time, but wide inequalities persist between and within countries. Key drivers of coverage such as financing, human resources, commodities, and conducive health policies also showed important, yet insufficient increases. As a multistakeholder initiative of more than 40 academic, international, bilateral, and civil society institutions, Countdown was successful in monitoring progress and raising the visibility of the health of mothers, newborns, and children. Lessons learned from this initiative have direct bearing on monitoring progress during the Sustainable Development Goals era.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To assess the risk of gentamicin toxicity and potential number of neonates exposed annually to this risk, through treatment with WHO-recommended first-line antibiotics (gentamicin with penicillin) for the 6.9 million neonates with Possible Severe Bacterial Infection (PSBI). Methods: Systematic literature review and assessment of the evidence using Cochrane and GRADE criteria. Meta-analysis was undertaken for pooled estimates where appropriate. Results: Eleven studies (946 neonates) were included (nine randomised controlled trials and two prospective cohort studies). Six trials reported consistently measured ototoxicity outcomes in neonates treated with gentamicin and the pooled estimate for hearing loss was 3% (95%CI 0-7%). Nephrotoxicity could not be assessed due to variation in case definitions used. Estimates of the number of neonates potentially affected by gentamicin toxicity were not undertaken due to insufficient data. Conclusion: Given wider scale-up of outpatient-based and lower-level treatment of PSBI, improved data are essential to better assess the risks from neonatal gentamicin treatment without assessment of blood levels, in order to maximise benefit and reduce harm. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Tropical Medicine & International Health
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    ABSTRACT: The end of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era was marked in 2015, and while maternal and child mortality have been halved, MGD 4 and MDG 5 are off-track at the global level. Reductions in neonatal death rates (age <1month) lag behind those for post-neonates (age 1−59months), and stillbirth rates (omitted from the MDGs) have been virtually unchanged. Hence, almost half of under-five deaths are newborns, yet about 80% of these are preventable using cost-effective interventions. The Every Newborn Action Plan has been endorsed by the World Health Assembly and ratified by many stakeholders and donors to reduce neonatal deaths and stillbirths to 10 per 1000 births by 2035. The plan provides an evidence-based framework for scaling up of essential interventions across the continuum of care with the potential to prevent the deaths of approximately three million newborns, mothers, and stillbirths every year. Two million stillbirths and newborns could be saved by care at birth and care of small and sick newborns, giving a triple return on investment at this key time. Commitment, investment, and intentional leadership from global and national stakeholders, including all healthcare professionals, can make these ambitious goals attainable.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
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    ABSTRACT: Small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and preterm births are associated with adverse health consequences, including neonatal and infant mortality, childhood undernutrition, and adulthood chronic disease. The specific aims of this study were to estimate the association between short maternal stature and outcomes of SGA alone, preterm birth alone, or both, and to calculate the population attributable fraction of SGA and preterm birth associated with short maternal stature. We conducted an individual participant data meta-analysis with the use of data sets from 12 population-based cohort studies and the WHO Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health (13 of 24 available data sets used) from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We included those with weight taken within 72 h of birth, gestational age, and maternal height data (n = 177,000). For each of these studies, we individually calculated RRs between height exposure categories of <145 cm, 145 to <150 cm, and 150 to <155 cm (reference: ≥155 cm) and outcomes of SGA, preterm birth, and their combination categories. SGA was defined with the use of both the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century (INTERGROWTH-21st) birth weight standard and the 1991 US birth weight reference. The associations were then meta-analyzed. All short stature categories were statistically significantly associated with term SGA, preterm appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA), and preterm SGA births (reference: term AGA). When using the INTERGROWTH-21st standard to define SGA, women <145 cm had the highest adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) (term SGA: aRR 2.03, 95% CI: 1.76, 2.35; preterm AGA: aRR 1.45, 95% CI: 1.26, 1.66; preterm SGA: aRR 2-13, 95% CI: 1.42, 3.21). Similar associations were seen for SGA defined by the US reference. Annually, 5.5 million term SGA (18.6% of the global total), 550,800 preterm AGA (5.0% of the global total), and 458,000 preterm SGA (16.5% of the global total) births may be associated with maternal short stature. Approximately 6.5 million SGA and/or preterm births in LMIC may be associated with short maternal stature annually. A reduction in this burden requires primary prevention of SGA, improvement in postnatal growth through early childhood, and possibly further intervention in late childhood and adolescence. It is vital for researchers to broaden the evidence base for addressing chronic malnutrition through multiple life stages, and for program implementers to explore effective, sustainable ways of reaching the most vulnerable populations.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: The global rate of stillbirths was estimated to be 18.9 per 1000 births in 2009, equating to a total of 2.64 million stillbirths, 1.2 million of which were during labour. The burden is heaviest for women in low and middle income countries and the poorest women in high income countries. Given its scale, stillbirth prevention should be high on the global health agenda. However, in the current draft of the United Nations sustainable development goals, which sets global targets for 2015-30, stillbirth is not mentioned, even though neonatal and under 5 mortality rates are included. Explicit targets and accountability to track and reduce national stillbirth rates would help raise the political profile of stillbirths, engaging global leaders and increasing country government programmatic action. The Every Newborn action plan, which aims to provide all nations with a platform for ending preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths, proposed a target of reducing the stillbirth rate to ≤12 per 1000 births in every country by 2030.3 There is a strong case to be made at country and international levels that the introduction of stillbirth targets will encourage greater investment in perinatal care interventions. This has the potential to reduce neonatal and maternal deaths, as well as stillbirths, giving a triple return on programme investment and research. In this article we argue for international adoption of the Every Newborn action plan stillbirth targets.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMJ: British medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of deaths for children under five years. Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) are effective at reducing mortality and serious morbidity amongst infants born at 75%) reported very major or significant bottlenecks. Health information systems should include improved gestational age assessment and track ACS coverage, use and outcomes. Better health service delivery requires clarified policy assigning roles by level of care and cadre of provider, dependent on capability to assess gestational age and risk of preterm birth, and the implementation of guidelines with adequate supervision, mentoring and quality improvement systems, including audit and feedback. National essential medicines lists should include dexamethasone for antenatal use, and dexamethasone should be integrated into supply logistics.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: While there is widespread acknowledgment of the need for improved quality and quantity of information on births and deaths, there has been less movement towards systematically capturing and reviewing the causes and avoidable factors linked to deaths, in order to affect change. This is particularly true for stillbirths and neonatal deaths which can fall between different health care providers and departments. Maternal and perinatal mortality audit applies to two of the five objectives in the Every Newborn Action Plan but data on successful approaches to overcome bottlenecks to scaling up audit are lacking. Methods: We reviewed the current evidence for facility-based perinatal mortality audit with a focus on low- and middle-income countries and assessed the status of mortality audit policy and implementation. Based on challenges identified in the literature, key challenges to completing the audit cycle and affecting change were identified across the WHO health system building blocks, along with solutions, in order to inform the process of scaling up this strategy with attention to quality. Results: Maternal death surveillance and review is moving rapidly with many countries enacting and implementing policies and with accountability beyond the single facility conducting the audits. While 51 priority countries report having a policy on maternal death notification in 2014, only 17 countries have a policy for reporting and reviewing stillbirths and neonatal deaths. The existing evidence demonstrates the potential for audit to improve birth outcomes, only if the audit cycle is completed. The primary challenges within the health system building blocks are in the area of leadership and health information. Examples of successful implementation exist from high income countries and select low- and middle-income countries provide valuable learning, especially on the need for leadership for effective audit systems and on the development and the use of clear guidelines and protocols in order to ensure that the audit cycle is completed. Conclusions: Health workers have the power to change health care routines in daily practice, but this must be accompanied by concrete inputs at every level of the health system. The system requires data systems including consistent cause of death classification and use of best practice guidelines to monitor performance, as well as leaders to champion the process, especially to ensure a no-blame environment, and to access change agents at other levels to address larger, systemic challenges.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Around one-third of the world's 2.8 million neonatal deaths are caused by infections. Most of these deaths are preventable, but occur due to delays in care-seeking, and access to effective antibiotic treatment with supportive care. Understanding variation in health system bottlenecks to scale-up of case management of neonatal infections and identifying solutions is essential to reduce mortality, and also morbidity. Methods: A standardised bottleneck analysis tool was applied in 12 countries in Africa and Asia as part of the development of the Every Newborn Action Plan. Country workshops involved technical experts to complete a survey tool, to grade health system "bottlenecks" hindering scale up of maternal-newborn intervention packages. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyse the data, combined with literature review, to present priority bottlenecks and synthesise actions to improve case management of newborn infections. Results: For neonatal infections, the health system building blocks most frequently graded as major or significant bottlenecks, irrespective of mortality context and geographical region, were health workforce (11 out of 12 countries), and community ownership and partnership (11 out of 12 countries). Lack of data to inform decision making, and limited funding to increase access to quality neonatal care were also major challenges. Conclusions: Rapid recognition of possible serious bacterial infection and access to care is essential. Inpatient hospital care remains the first line of treatment for neonatal infections. In situations where referral is not possible, the use of simplified antibiotic regimens for outpatient management for non-critically ill young infants has recently been reported in large clinical trials; WHO is developing a guideline to treat this group of young infants. Improving quality of care through more investment in the health workforce at all levels of care is critical, in addition to ensuring development and dissemination of national guidelines. Improved information systems are needed to track coverage and adequately manage drug supply logistics for improved health outcomes. It is important to increase community ownership and partnership, for example through involvement of community groups.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Preterm birth is the leading cause of child death worldwide. Small and sick newborns require timely, high-quality inpatient care to survive. This includes provision of warmth, feeding support, safe oxygen therapy and effective phototherapy with prevention and treatment of infections. Inpatient care for newborns requires dedicated ward space, staffed by health workers with specialist training and skills. Many of the estimated 2.8 million newborns that die every year do not have access to such specialised care. Methods: The bottleneck analysis tool was applied in 12 countries in Africa and Asia as part of the Every Newborn Action Plan process. Country workshops involved technical experts to complete the survey tool, which is designed to synthesise and grade health system "bottlenecks" (or factors that hinder the scale up) of maternal-newborn intervention packages. For this paper, we used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the bottleneck data, and combined these with literature review, to present priority bottlenecks and actions relevant to different health system building blocks for inpatient care of small and sick newborns. Results: Inpatient care of small and sick newborns is an intervention package highlighted by all country workshop participants as having critical health system challenges. Health system building blocks with the highest graded (significant or major) bottlenecks were health workforce (10 out of 12 countries) and health financing (10 out of 12 countries), followed by community ownership and partnership (9 out of 12 countries). Priority actions based on solution themes for these bottlenecks are discussed. Conclusions: Whilst major bottlenecks to the scale-up of quality inpatient newborn care are present, effective solutions exist. For all countries included, there is a critical need for a neonatal nursing cadre. Small and sick newborns require increased, sustained funding with specific insurance schemes to cover inpatient care and avoid catastrophic out-of-pocket payments. Core competencies, by level of care, should be defined for monitoring of newborn inpatient care, as with emergency obstetric care. Rather than fatalism that small and sick newborns will die, community interventions need to create demand for accessible, high-quality, family-centred inpatient care, including kangaroo mother care, so that every newborn can survive and thrive.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: An estimated two-thirds of the world's 2.7 million newborn deaths could be prevented with quality care at birth and during the postnatal period. Basic Newborn Care (BNC) is part of the solution and includes hygienic birth and newborn care practices including cord care, thermal care, and early and exclusive breastfeeding. Timely provision of resuscitation if needed is also critical to newborn survival. This paper describes health system barriers to BNC and neonatal resuscitation and proposes solutions to scale up evidence-based strategies. Methods: The maternal and newborn bottleneck analysis tool was applied by 12 countries in Africa and Asia as part of the Every Newborn Action Plan process. Country workshops engaged technical experts to complete the survey tool, which is designed to synthesise and grade health system "bottlenecks" that hinder the scale up of maternal-newborn intervention packages. We used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the bottleneck data, combined with literature review, to present priority bottlenecks and actions relevant to different health system building blocks for BNC and neonatal resuscitation. Results: Eleven of the 12 countries provided grading data. Overall, bottlenecks were graded more severely for resuscitation. The most severely graded bottlenecks for BNC were health workforce (8 of 11 countries), health financing (9 out of 11) and service delivery (7 out of 9); and for neonatal resuscitation, workforce (9 out of 10), essential commodities (9 out of 10) and service delivery (8 out of 10). Country teams from Africa graded bottlenecks overall more severely. Improving workforce performance, availability of essential commodities, and well-integrated health service delivery were the key solutions proposed. Conclusions: BNC was perceived to have the least health system challenges among the seven maternal and newborn intervention packages assessed. Although neonatal resuscitation bottlenecks were graded more severe than for BNC, similarities particularly in the workforce and service delivery building blocks highlight the inextricable link between the two interventions and the need to equip birth attendants with requisite skills and commodities to assess and care for every newborn. Solutions highlighted by country teams include ensuring more investment to improve workforce performance and distribution, especially numbers of skilled birth attendants, incentives for placement in challenging settings, and skills-based training particularly for neonatal resuscitation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Preterm birth is now the leading cause of under-five child deaths worldwide with one million direct deaths plus approximately another million where preterm is a risk factor for neonatal deaths due to other causes. There is strong evidence that kangaroo mother care (KMC) reduces mortality among babies with birth weight <2000 g (mostly preterm). KMC involves continuous skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding support, and promotion of early hospital discharge with follow-up. The World Health Organization has endorsed KMC for stabilised newborns in health facilities in both high-income and low-resource settings. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) use a 12-country analysis to explore health system bottlenecks affecting the scale-up of KMC; (2) propose solutions to the most significant bottlenecks; and (3) outline priority actions for scale-up. Methods: The bottleneck analysis tool was applied in 12 countries in Africa and Asia as part of the Every Newborn Action Plan process. Country workshops involved technical experts to complete the survey tool, which is designed to synthesise and grade health system "bottlenecks", factors that hinder the scale-up, of maternal-newborn intervention packages. We used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the bottleneck data, combined with literature review, to present priority bottlenecks and actions relevant to different health system building blocks for KMC. Results: Marked differences were found in the perceived severity of health system bottlenecks between Asian and African countries, with the former reporting more significant or very major bottlenecks for KMC with respect to all the health system building blocks. Community ownership and health financing bottlenecks were significant or very major bottlenecks for KMC in both low and high mortality contexts, particularly in South Asia. Significant bottlenecks were also reported for leadership and governance and health workforce building blocks. Conclusions: There are at least a dozen countries worldwide with national KMC programmes, and we identify three pathways to scale: (1) champion-led; (2) project-initiated; and (3) health systems designed. The combination of all three pathways may lead to more rapid scale-up. KMC has the potential to save lives, and change the face of facility-based newborn care, whilst empowering women to care for their preterm newborns.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) and Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality targets cannot be achieved without high quality, equitable coverage of interventions at and around the time of birth. This paper provides an overview of the methodology and findings of a nine paper series of in-depth analyses which focus on the specific challenges to scaling up high-impact interventions and improving quality of care for mothers and newborns around the time of birth, including babies born small and sick. Methods: The bottleneck analysis tool was applied in 12 countries in Africa and Asia as part of the ENAP process. Country workshops engaged technical experts to complete a tool designed to synthesise "bottlenecks" hindering the scale up of maternal-newborn intervention packages across seven health system building blocks. We used quantitative and qualitative methods and literature review to analyse the data and present priority actions relevant to different health system building blocks for skilled birth attendance, emergency obstetric care, antenatal corticosteroids (ACS), basic newborn care, kangaroo mother care (KMC), treatment of neonatal infections and inpatient care of small and sick newborns. Results: The 12 countries included in our analysis account for the majority of global maternal (48%) and newborn (58%) deaths and stillbirths (57%). Our findings confirm previously published results that the interventions with the most perceived bottlenecks are facility-based where rapid emergency care is needed, notably inpatient care of small and sick newborns, ACS, treatment of neonatal infections and KMC. Health systems building blocks with the highest rated bottlenecks varied for different interventions. Attention needs to be paid to the context specific bottlenecks for each intervention to scale up quality care. Crosscutting findings on health information gaps inform two final papers on a roadmap for improvement of coverage data for newborns and indicate the need for leadership for effective audit systems. Conclusions: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal targets for ending preventable mortality and provision of universal health coverage will require large-scale approaches to improving quality of care. These analyses inform the development of systematic, targeted approaches to strengthening of health systems, with a focus on overcoming specific bottlenecks for the highest impact interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Publication Stats

13k Citations
3,257.22 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006-2016
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • American University Washington D.C.
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2005-2013
    • Save the Children
      Westport, Connecticut, United States
  • 2011-2012
    • College of Cape Town
      Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
    • Stellenbosch University
      • Department of Psychology
      Stellenbosch, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • 2010
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Trinity Washington University
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2009
    • Institute of Child Health Calcutta
      Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    • World Health Organization WHO
      Islāmābād, Islāmābād, Pakistan
    • Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
      Πρετόρια/Πόλη του Ακρωτηρίου, Gauteng, South Africa
  • 2003-2009
    • Institute for Child Health Policy (ICHP)
      INL, Minnesota, United States
  • 2004-2006
    • Perinatal Institute
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom