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What the percentage of births in facilities does not measure: readiness for emergency obstetric care and referral in Senegal

Cavallaro, FL; Benova, L; DIoukhane, EH; Wong, K; Sheppard, P; Faye, A; Radovich, E; ... Martinez-Alvarez, M; + view all (2020) What the percentage of births in facilities does not measure: readiness for emergency obstetric care and referral in Senegal. BMJ Global Health , 5 (3) , Article e001915. 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001915. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: Increases in facility deliveries in sub-Saharan Africa have not yielded expected declines in maternal mortality, raising concerns about the quality of care provided in facilities. The readiness of facilities at different health system levels to provide both emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) as well as referral is unknown. We describe this combined readiness by facility level and region in Senegal. / Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we used data from nine Demographic and Health Surveys between 1992 and 2017 in Senegal to describe trends in location of births over time. We used data from the 2017 Service Provision Assessment to describe EmONC and emergency referral readiness across facility levels in the public system, where 94% of facility births occur. A national global positioning system facility census was used to map access from lower-level facilities to the nearest facility performing caesareans. / Results: Births in facilities increased from 47% in 1992 to 80% in 2016, driven by births in lower-level health posts, where half of facility births now occur. Caesarean rates in rural areas more than doubled but only to 3.7%, indicating minor improvements in EmONC access. Only 9% of health posts had full readiness for basic EmONC, and 62% had adequate referral readiness (vehicle on-site or telephone and vehicle access elsewhere). Although public facilities accounted for three-quarters of all births in 2016, only 16% of such births occurred in facilities able to provide adequate combined readiness for EmONC and referral. / Conclusions: Our findings imply that many lower-level public facilities—the most common place of birth in Senegal—are unable to treat or refer women with obstetric complications, especially in rural areas. In light of rising lower-level facility births in Senegal and elsewhere, improvements in EmONC and referral readiness are urgently needed to accelerate reductions in maternal and perinatal mortality.

Type: Article
Title: What the percentage of births in facilities does not measure: readiness for emergency obstetric care and referral in Senegal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001915
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001915
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094007
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