241184 No mother or child left behind: Cuba's maternal & child homes and implications for the US

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:10 AM

Taraneh R. Salke, MPH , Executive Director, Family Health Alliance, West Hills, CA
Carol Cotton, PhD, MEd , College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, Traffic Safety Research and Evaluation Group, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Michelle Bragg, Assistant Professor, PhD , Health Policy and Public Health, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
Piroska Bisits Bullen, PhD(c) , Walden University, London, England
Colleen Harris, MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CCM , College of Nursing, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX
Debra Anne Jones, MD, MBA, FACOG , Chief of Obsterics&Gynecology SMMC, Perinatal&Gynecologic Spealists of the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Purpose: Describe maternal and child healthcare in Cuba observed during a visit to a Maternity Home in Havana by APHA Delegates and to discuss US policy implications. Data and Methodology: Data was gathered through observation during a visit to the Maternity Home, Hogar Materno Infantil, and through discussion with a doctor, nurses, and staff at the home. Results: Cuba utilizes community-based regional Maternity Homes to provide comprehensive care for women with high-risk pregnancies. This innovative and effective strategy has lowered infant and maternal mortality rates (5/1000; 47/1000). Cuba, a resource-poor country (GDP $5,596; US GDP $45,230), provides high-quality free maternal care to all its citizens while spending only $363 per capita on health (US per capita spending on health: $6,714). All medical services that women need are provided during their stay in a Maternity Home including ultrasound, lab work, and dental care. Investing in maternal health by safeguarding high-risk pregnancies is an innovative and proactive health strategy that strengthens the global effort to achieve MDGs 4 and 5. Re-positioning maternal and child health priorities to the policy foreground was a critical step in saving the lives of Cuban women and children. Recommendations/Policy Implications: Cuba enjoys excellent maternal and infant outcomes with few financial resources. The innovative strategy of utilizing community-based regional Maternity Homes to efficiently impact these rates could be used by resource-rich or resource-stressed countries. The US spends a large amount of financial resources on maternal and infant care, but the outcomes cannot compare with those of Cuba.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify strategies within the Cuban healthcare system that impact maternal and child health outcomes 2. Discuss the impact of the Maternity Home system in Cuba 3. Describe lessons learned and implications for the US health system

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, International MCH

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am quailified because I am an Ob/Gyn/maternal Fetal Specailist that oversees public programs for high risk pregnant women & am involved with public preventative educational programs for at risk pregnancies
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.