Care-Seeking & Referral Community
Welcome to the Care-Seeking & Referral for maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) Community of Practice (CoP)! Here you will find a vibrant online discussion community, monthly webinars, opportunities for south–to–south exchange and technical assistance, and an online exchange platform where members will have the opportunity to discuss with leading experts.
Please explore this page for valuable tools and best practices in implementation research to advance care-seeking and referral practices for mothers, newborns, and children in developing countries.
What We’re Reading
- Redesigning maternal health services: is centralisation the answer in low resource settings?
- Effects of an expanded Uber-like transport system on access to and use of maternal and newborn health services: findings of a prospective cohort study in Homa Bay, Kenya
- A framework for healthcare interventions to address maternal morbidity
Making the Case
Women, and their families need to know when, how, and where to seek appropriate treatment, a normal delivery, and care for life-threatening conditions. When these life threatening conditions can be identified in advance, referral is routine, but oftentimes an emergency arises for mother or baby requiring urgent care and emergency transport. Functioning referral systems and continuity of care – from household to health facility and if necessary between facilities and back – are critical for improved MNCH outcomes. Ultimately, appropriate care-seeking, functional referrals, and continuity of care contribute to effective coverage, defined as receipt of necessary MNCH preventive and curative services that are timely and of sufficient quality to achieve health impact.
For a long time we have been using the three delays model – deciding to seek care, identifying and reaching care, and receiving adequate and appropriate treatment at the facility1. This CoP aims to move beyond this model and think about helping women access care in emergencies and when different referrals take place, both routine and emergency, in a health system that gets the right women and newborns to the right place at the right time.
To get us thinking we are using the model developed by Campbell and colleagues2.
The Care-Seeking and Referral for MNCH Community of Practice (CoP) provides a virtual platform where people can exchange technical knowledge, share resources and experiences, ask and answer questions, and help to connect people who might not ordinarily interact. We host regular webinars on care-seeking and referral and an online exchange platform where you will have the opportunity to discuss with leading experts in the topic.
- Webinar: Join us for our next Care-Seeking and Referral CoP webinar on November 19
- Slides: See slides for previous webinars.
- Online exchange: Join our Care-Seeking & Referral Community of Practice
Below we propose some links to articles and resources to help policymakers and program implementers identify strategies and approaches for improving care-seeking and referral practices for MNCH in developing countries.
- Community-based intervention packages for reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and improving neonatal outcomes (Review)
- An evidence map of social, behavioural and community engagement interventions for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health
- A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies on maternal emergency transport in low- and middle-income countries
- The scale, scope, coverage, and capability of childbirth care
- The effectiveness of emergency obstetric referral interventions in developing country settings: A systematic review
- Assessing the effect of the Expanding Maternal and Neonatal Survival program on improving stabilization and referral for maternal and newborn complications in Indonesia
- Referral patterns through the lens of health facility readiness to manage obstetric complications: national facility-based results from Ghana
Quality of care
- WHO model of intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience: transforming care of women and babies for improved health and wellbeing
- Measuring quality of care for all women and newborns: how do we know if we are doing it right? A review of facility assessment tools
- WHO recommendations: Intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience
- High-quality health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals era: time for a revolution
- Thaddeus S1, Maine D. Too far to walk: maternal mortality in context. Soc Sci Med. 1994;38(8):1091-110.
- Campbell O,Calvert C, Testa A, Strenlow M, Benova L, Keyes E et al. The scale, scope, coverage, and capability of childbirth care. Lancet 2016: 388(10056);2193-2208.
- Saving Mothers 2014-2016: Seventh triennial report on confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in South Africa: Short report. National Department of Health. Pretoria.