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Publications

Filtering by Category: Maternal health

How to improve child health service utilisation in Ethiopia

Future Health Systems

Ethiopia successfully achieved Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing under five mortality by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Adoption of the health extension programme, and implementation of the integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses (IMNCI) and the integrated community case management (iCCM) models of care, contributed to this achievement. However, child mortality remains high at 67 per 1,000 live births.

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How to improve maternal health service utilisation in Ethiopia

Future Health Systems

Guided by global health initiatives and with support from the international community, Ethiopia is implementing the primary health care model to improve access to basic maternal health services. However, utilisation of maternal health services along the full cascade of maternity care (family planning, safe abortion, antenatal care, institutional delivery, and postnatal care) is low due to socio-economic, cultural, and structural barriers. This Issue Brief presents key facilitators and barriers to maternal health service utilization in primary care in Ethiopia.

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Which contextual factors facilitate successful implementation of Community Score Cards in Uganda?

Future Health Systems

This issue brief describes the factors that facilitate the CSC implementation process, based on the lessons learnt from a CSC project on maternal and newborn health service delivery and utilization in six sub-counties of Kibuku district in Uganda. District and sub-county stakeholders led the implementation of the CSC, with support from Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH). Four rounds of scoring were undertaken between November 2017 and September 2018.

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How can political leaders help ensure Community Score Cards in Uganda are sustainable?

Future Health Systems

Beginning in June 2017, the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with Future Health Systems, has been implementing a CSC project focusing on maternal and newborn health service delivery and utilization in six sub-counties in Kibuku district, Uganda. As one of its exit strategies, the project carried out a qualitative study that explored ways of involving political leaders in the CSC process to ensure its sustainability.

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A community-based cluster randomised controlled trial in rural Bangladesh to evaluate the impact of the use of iron-folic acid supplements early in pregnancy on the risk of neonatal mortality

Future Health Systems

Huda TM, Rahman MM, Raihana S, Islam S, Tahsina T, Alam A, Agho K, Rasheed S, Hayes A, Karim MA and Rahman QS (2018) A community-based cluster randomised controlled trial in rural Bangladesh to evaluate the impact of the use of iron-folic acid supplements early in pregnancy on the risk of neonatal mortality: the Shonjibon trial, BMC Public Health, 18(1):816, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-018-5713-1

Iron-deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency globally. Due to the high iron requirements for pregnancy, it is highly prevalent and severe in pregnant women. There is strong evidence that maternal iron deficiency anaemia increases the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. However, most of the evidence is from observational epidemiological studies except for a very few randomised controlled trials. IFA supplements have also been found to reduce the preterm delivery rate and neonatal mortality attributable to prematurity and birth asphyxia. These results combined indicate that IFA supplements in populations of iron-deficient pregnant women could lead to a decrease in the number of neonatal deaths mediated by reduced rates of preterm delivery. In this paper, we describe the protocol of a community-based cluster randomised controlled trial that aims to evaluate the impact of maternal antenatal IFA supplements on perinatal outcomes.

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When Leadership Counts

Future Health Systems

FHS partner Makerere University School of Public Health is undertaking a Community Score Cards study, which is contributing to research on how leaders can work with the community and health workers to improve maternal and newborn health in Kibuku District. The use of the Community Score Card tool – a two-way and ongoing participatory tool for assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation - aims to improve the performance of facilities and accountability by the different stakeholders who are responsible for improving the performance of facilities. This film provides an overview of the work and the use of community scorecards.

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What about us

Future Health Systems

This film, produced by FHS partner Makerere University School of Publich Health (MakSPH), highlights the challenges that women with disabilities face when seeking maternal health services in the Eastern Uganda district of Kibuku. To address some of these challenges, FHS partner MakSPH, in partnership with Research in Gender and Ethics (RinGs), is using the Community Scorecard methodology - a participatory tool for assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation of services – with mothers living with disabilities, allowing their voices to be heard.

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Participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches that influence decision-making: lessons from a maternal and newborn study in Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Kananura RM, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Paina L, Bumba A, Mulekwa G, Nakiganda-Busiku D, Oo HNL, Kiwanuka SN, George A and Peters DH (2017) Participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches that influence decision-making: lessons from a maternal and newborn study in Eastern Uganda, Health Research Policy and Systems, 15(Suppl 2):107, DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0274-9

The use of participatory monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches is important for guiding local decision-making, promoting the implementation of effective interventions and addressing emerging issues in the course of implementation. In this article, we explore how participatory M&E approaches helped to identify key design and implementation issues and how they influenced stakeholders’ decision-making in eastern Uganda.

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Gender dynamics affecting maternal health and health care access and use in Uganda

Future Health Systems

Morgan R, Tetui M, Kananura RM Ekirapa-Kiracho E and George AS (2017) Gender dynamics affecting maternal health and health care access and use in Uganda, Health Policy and Planning, Volume 32, Issue supplement 5, pp z13 - v21, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czx011

Abstract

Despite its reduction over the last decade, the maternal mortality rate in Uganda remains high, due to in part a lack of access to maternal health care. In an effort to increase access to care, a quasi-experimental trial using vouchers was implemented in Eastern Uganda between 2009 and 2011. Findings from the trial reported a dramatic increase in pregnant women’s access to institutional delivery. Sustainability of such interventions, however, is an important challenge. While such interventions are able to successfully address immediate access barriers, such as lack of financial resources and transportation, they are reliant on external resources to sustain them and are not designed to address the underlying causes contributing to women’s lack of access, including those related to gender. In an effort to examine ways to sustain the intervention beyond external financial resources, project implementers conducted a follow-up qualitative study to explore the root causes of women’s lack of maternal health care access and utilization. Based on emergent findings, a gender analysis of the data was conducted to identify key gender dynamics affecting maternal health and maternal health care. This paper reports the key gender dynamics identified during the analysis, by detailing how gender power relations affect maternal health care access and utilization in relation to: access to resources; division of labour, including women’s workload during and after pregnancy and lack of male involvement at health facilities; social norms, including perceptions of women’s attitudes and behaviour during pregnancy, men’s attitudes towards fatherhood, attitudes towards domestic violence, and health worker attitudes and behaviour; and decision-making. It concludes by discussing the need for integrating gender into maternal health care interventions if they are to address the root causes of barriers to maternal health access and utilization and improve access to and use of maternal health care in the long term.

Experiences of using a participatory action research approach to strengthen district local capacity in Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Tetui M, Coe A-B, Hurtig A-K, Ekirapa-Kiracho E and Kiwanuka SN (2017) Experiences of using a participatory action research approach to strengthen district local capacity in Eastern Uganda, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1346038, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1346038

To achieve a sustained improvement in health outcomes, the way health interventions are designed and implemented is critical. A participatory action research approach is applauded for building local capacity such as health management. Thereby increasing the chances of sustaining health interventions. This study explored stakeholder experiences of using PAR to implement an intervention meant to strengthen the local district capacity.

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‘Nurture the sprouting bud; do not uproot it’. Using saving groups to save for maternal and newborn health: lessons from rural Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Paina L, Kananura RM, Mutebi A, Jane P, Tumuhairwe J, Tetui M and Kiwanuka SN (2017) ‘Nurture the sprouting bud; do not uproot it’. Using saving groups to save for maternal and newborn health: lessons from rural Eastern Uganda, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1347311, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1347311

Saving groups are increasingly being used to save in many developing countries. However, there is limited literature about how they can be exploited to improve maternal and newborn health. This paper describes saving practices, factors that encourage and constrain saving with saving groups, and lessons learnt while supporting communities to save through saving groups.

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Characteristics of community savings groups in rural Eastern Uganda: opportunities for improving access to maternal health services

Future Health Systems

Mutebi A, Kananura RM, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Bua J, Kiwanuka SN, Nammazi G, Paina L and Tetui M (2017) Characteristics of community savings groups in rural Eastern Uganda: opportunities for improving access to maternal health services, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1347363, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1347363

Rural populations in Uganda have limited access to formal financial Institutions, but a growing majority belong to saving groups. These saving groups could have the potential to improve household income and access to health services. This article aimed to understand organizational characteristics, benefits and challenges, of savings groups in rural Uganda.

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Working with community health workers to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes: implementation and scale-up lessons from eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Namazzi G, Okuga M, Tetui M, Kananura RM, Kakaire A, Namutamba S, Mutebi A,  Kiwanuka SN, Ekirapa-Kiracho E and Waiswa P (2017) Working with community health workers to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes: implementation and scale-up lessons from eastern Uganda, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1345495, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1345495

Preventable maternal and newborn deaths can be averted through simple evidence-based interventions, such as the use of community health workers (CHWs), also known in Uganda as village health teams. However, the CHW strategy faces implementation challenges regarding training packages, supervision, and motivation. This paper explores knowledge levels of CHWs, describes the coverage of home visits, and shares lessons learnt from setting up and implementing the CHW strategy.

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Effect of support supervision on maternal and newborn health services and practices in Rural Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Kisakye AN, Kananura RM, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Bua J, Akulume M, Namazzi G and  Kiwanuka SN (2017) Effect of support supervision on maternal and newborn health services and practices in Rural Eastern Uganda, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1345496, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1345496

Support supervision is one of the strategies used to check the quality of services provided at health facilities. From 2013 to 2015, Makerere University School of Public Health strengthened support supervision in the district of Kibuku, Kamuli and Pallisa in Eastern Uganda to improve the quality of maternal and newborn services. This article assesses quality improvements in maternal and newborn care services and practices during this period.

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A cascade model of mentorship for frontline health workers in rural health facilities in Eastern Uganda: processes, achievements and lessons

Future Health Systems

Ajeani J, Ayiasi RM, Tetui M, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Namazzi G, Kananura RM,  Kiwanuka SN and Beyeza-Kashesya J (2017) A cascade model of mentorship for frontline health workers in rural health facilities in Eastern Uganda: processes, achievements and lessons, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1345497

There is increasing demand for trainers to shift from traditional didactic training to innovative approaches that are more results-oriented. Mentorship is one such approach that could bridge the clinical knowledge gap among health workers. This paper describes the experiences of an attempt to improve health-worker performance in maternal and newborn health in three rural districts through a mentoring process using the cascade model. The paper further highlights achievements and lessons learnt during implementation of the cascade model.

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Effect of a participatory multisectoral maternal and newborn intervention on birth preparedness and knowledge of maternal and newborn danger signs among women in Eastern Uganda...

Future Health Systems

Kananura RM, Tetui M, Bua J, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Mutebi A, Namazzi G, Kiwanuka SN and Waiswa P (2017) Effect of a participatory multisectoral maternal and newborn intervention on birth preparedness and knowledge of maternal and newborn danger signs among women in Eastern Uganda: a quasi-experiment study, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1362826, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1362826

Knowledge of obstetric danger signs and adequate birth preparedness (BP) are critical for improving maternal services utilization. This study assessed the effect of a participatory multi-sectoral maternal and newborn intervention on BP and knowledge of obstetric danger signs among women in Eastern Uganda.

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Effect of a participatory multisectoral maternal and newborn intervention on maternal health service utilization and newborn care practices: a quasi-experimental study in three rural Ugandan districts

Future Health Systems

Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Kananura RM, Tetui M, Namazzi G, Mutebi A, George A, Paina L, Waiswa P, Bumba A, Mulekwa G, Nakiganda-Busiku D, Lyagoba M, Naiga H, Putan M, Kulwenza A, Ajeani J, Kakaire-Kirunda A, Makumbi F, Atuyambe L, Okui O and  Kiwanuka SN (2017) Effect of a participatory multisectoral maternal and newborn intervention on maternal health service utilization and newborn care practices: a quasi-experimental study in three rural Ugandan districts, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1363506, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1363506

The MANIFEST study in eastern Uganda employed a participatory multisectoral approach to reduce barriers to access to maternal and newborn care services. This study analyses the effect of the intervention on the utilization of maternal and newborn services and care practices.

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Maternal and neonatal implementation for equitable systems: A study design paper

Future Health Systems

Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Tetui M, Bua J, Kananura RM, Waiswa P, Makumbi F, Atuyambe L, Ajeani J, George A, Mutebi A, Kakaire A, Namazzi G, Paina L and Kiwanuka SN (2017) Maternal and neonatal implementation for equitable systems: A study design paper, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1359924, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1346925

Evidence on effective ways of improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes is widely available. The challenge that most low-income countries grapple with is implementation at scale and sustainability. The study aimed at improving access to quality maternal and neonatal health services in a sustainable manner by using a participatory action research approach.

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Maternal and newborn health implementation research: programme outcomes, pathways of change and partnerships for equitable health systems in Uganda

Future Health Systems

George A, Tetui M, Pariyo GW and Peterson SS (2017) Maternal and newborn health implementation research: programme outcomes, pathways of change and partnerships for equitable health systems in Uganda, Global Health Action,  10:sup4, 1359924, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1359924

This editorial provides an overview of the Global Health Action MANIFEST special issue. The special issue covers 10 papers whose main purpose is to share findings from a maternal and neonatal health intervention in Uganda. The MANIFEST intervention used a participatory action research approach to engage different actors to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in the districts of
Pallisa, Kibuku and Kamuli, in eastern Uganda.

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A structural equation analysis on the relationship between maternal health services utilization and newborn health outcomes: a cross-sectional study in Eastern Uganda

Future Health Systems

Kananura RM, Wamala R, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Tetui M, Kiwanuka SN, Waiswa P and Atuhaire LK (2017) A structural equation analysis on the relationship between maternal health services utilization and newborn health, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17:98, DOI: 10.1186/s12884-017-1289-5


Neonatal and maternal health services have a bearing on neonatal mortality. Direct and indirect factors affecting neonatal health outcomes therefore require understanding to enable well-targeted interventions. This study, therefore, assessed the interrelationship between newborn health outcomes and maternal service utilization factors.

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