Online Program

A system for monitoring and responding to excess mortality in a health deprived setting of northern Ghana

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rofina Asuru, RN, MPH, Ghana Essential Health Intervention Program, Ghana Health Service, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana
Margaret L. Schmitt, MPH, Heillbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Ghana Essential Health Intervention Programme (GEHIP), Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, NY
Sneha Patel, MSW, MPH, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
There is ample evidence that high neonatal and maternal mortality remain as the greatest challenges to health development in rural Africa. Moreover, clinical strategies and health modalities for addressing excess mortality are also well developed and widely disseminated. Less is known, however, about practical organizational strategies for addressing the excess perinatal mortality in rural remote localities of sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on a low cost, replicable, and sustainable system of risk surveillance, and action that has identified priority perinatal service problems, fostered rapid strategic planning, and catalyzed a comprehensive program of emergency management training for frontline workers, referral systems development, and quality assurance intervention at referral service points. A pilot project, regional training program, and evaluation strategy are reviewed. Interventions are focused on immediate post-delivery monitoring and referral, kangaroo mother care, resuscitation training and action, the management of hemorrhaging, and other low cost and productive actions are reviewed and discussed. Taken as a package of interventions, undergoing implementation in Ghana's three poorest and most remote districts, represents a model for reducing the burden of disease associated with delivery and immediate post-delivery period.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe low-cost, replicable organizational strategies for addressing excess perinatal mortality in rural remote localities of sub-Saharan Africa.

Keyword(s): International MCH, System Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years of experience in public health nursing in Ghana. I have worked as a practitioner and District Director of Health Services, and am currently an Implementation Coordinator at the Upper East Regional Health Directorate. My primary focus has been on maternal and child health and community-based health programs.
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.