Tetui M, Coe A-B, Hurtig A-H, Bennett S, Kiwanuka SN, George A and Ekirapa Kiracho E (2017) A participatory action research approach to strengthening health managers’ capacity at district level in Eastern Uganda, Health Research Policy and Systems, 15(Suppl 2):110, DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0273-x
Many approaches to improving health managers’ capacity in poor countries, particularly those pursued by external agencies, employ non-participatory approaches and often seek to circumvent (rather than strengthen) weak public management structures. This limits opportunities for strengthening local health managers’ capacity, improving resource utilisation and enhancing service delivery. This study explored the contribution of a participatory action research approach to strengthening health managers’ capacity in Eastern Uganda.
Paina L, Wilkinson A, Tetui M, Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Barman D, Ahmed T, Mahmood SS, Bloom G, Knezovich J, George A and Bennett S (2017) Using Theories of Change to inform implementation of health systems research and innovation: experiences of Future Health Systems consortium partners in Bangladesh, India and Uganda, Health Research Policy and Systems, 15(Suppl 2):109, DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0272-y
The Theory of Change (ToC) is a management and evaluation tool supporting critical thinking in the design, implementation and evaluation of development programmes. We document the experience of Future Health Systems (FHS) Consortium research teams in Bangladesh, India and Uganda with using ToC. We seek to understand how and why ToCs were applied and to clarify how they facilitate the implementation of iterative intervention designs and stakeholder engagement in health systems research and strengthening.
Bennett S, Mahmood SS, Edward A, Tetui M and Ekirapa-Kiracho E (2017) Strengthening scaling up through learning from implementation: comparing experiences from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda, Health Research Policy and Systems, 15(Suppl 2):108, DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0270-0
Many effective innovations and interventions are never effectively scaled up. Implementation research (IR) has the promise of supporting scale-up through enabling rapid learning about the intervention and its fit with the context in which it is implemented. We integrate conceptual frameworks addressing different dimensions of scaling up (specifically, the attributes of the service or innovation being scaled, the actors involved, the context, and the scale-up strategy) and questions commonly addressed by IR (concerning acceptability, appropriateness, adoption, feasibility, fidelity to original design, implementation costs, coverage and sustainability) to explore how IR can support scale-up.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kiwanuka SN, Akulume M, Tetui M, Kananura RM, Bua J and Ekirapa-Kiracho E (2017) Balancing the cost of leaving with the cost of living: drivers of long-term retention of health workers: an explorative study in three rural districts in Eastern Uganda, Global Health Action, 10:sup4, 1345494, DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1345494
Health worker retention in rural and underserved areas remains a persisting problem in many low and middle income countries, and this directly affects the quality of health services offered. This paper explores the drivers of long-term retention and describes health worker coping mechanisms in rural Uganda.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tetui M, Hurtig A-K, Ekirpa-Kiracho E, Kiwanuka SN and Coe A-B (2016) Building a competent health manager at district level: a grounded theory study from Eastern Uganda, BMC Health Services Research, 16:665, DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1918-0
Health systems in low-income countries are often characterized by poor health outcomes. While many reasons have been advanced to explain the persistently poor outcomes, management of the system has been found to play a key role. According to a WHO framework, the management of health systems is central to its ability to deliver needed health services. In this study, we examined how district managers in a rural setting in Uganda perceived existing approaches to strengthening management so as to provide a pragmatic and synergistic model for improving management capacity building.
Ekirapa-Kiracho E, Namazzi G, Tetui M, Mutebi A, Waiswa P, Oo H, Peters DH and George AS (2016) Unlocking community capabilities for improving maternal and newborn health: participatory action research to improve birth preparedness, health facility access, and newborn care in rural Uganda, BMC Health Services Research, 16:1864, DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1864-x
Community capacities and resources must be harnessed to complement supply side initiatives addressing high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Uganda. This paper reflects on gains, challenges and lessons learnt from working with communities to improve maternal and newborn health in rural Uganda.
Sustainability of health interventions is a global concern, as program benefits are lost as soon as programs lose donor funding. An assessment of the Uganda Rural Water and Sanitation (RUWASA) project revealed that program gains can be sustained decades later. The authors of this journal article analysed RUWASA implementation to draw sustainability lessons for maternal and child health interventions in Uganda and found that community engagement, contributions, use of structures and ownership of RUWASA was critical for the sustainability of the intervention.