Joint statements in support of WHO’s updated recommendations on standards of quality care for mothers and newborns

From the Healthy Newborn Network:

Health care professional associations at the launch of the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health [ ], have endorsed four joint statements calling all their member associations to assume a critical leadership role in advocating and implementing the actions outlined in the joint statements.

Joint Statement: Improving Quality of Maternal and Newborn Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Below are extracts from the Commitment to Action:

At the Global and Regional Levels

  • Foster international partnerships between HCPAs and transfer knowledge, increase training opportunities, and build the organizational capacity and skills of professional associations to take a leadership role in improving maternal and newborn care in their respective countries;…
  • Produce and distribute resource materials on key issues affecting the professions, including practical tools for human resource development;
  • Promote linkages with international and national academic institutions through existing networks to undertake research, and monitoring and evaluation the quality of maternal and newborn care.

At the National Level

Engage in advocacy…

  • Establish regular access to the press and media to influence public opinion and governments to adopt or adapt relevant MNH policies and serve as a knowledge hub for results dissemination as an important means of creating stakeholder buy-in and mobilizing resources toward maternal and newborn survival.
  • Support the development of policy and regulatory tools in collaboration with government
  • Assist in the development of evidence-based standards of quality and excellence, including licensing, accreditation, certification standards and clinical protocols;
  • Shape and support an appropriate scope of practice for each cadre of health worker to promote best use of each group’s expertise and improve availability of skilled MNH care; 
  • Build professional knowledge, skills and competencies of care providers
  • Identify knowledge gaps and needed competencies for maternal and newborn care providers and support training, upgrading of skills and provision of competency-based education within respective professional groups;
  • Assist with developing and updating the education programs/curricula emphasizing best practices based on scientific evidence at all levels of education (pre-service, in-service and continuous professional development);
  • Incorporate quality improvement into the education of all health care workers supporting MNH, at all levels and train and mentor leaders and providers to make quality improvement part of the culture of health care
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing through workshops, seminars, and technical and regulatory updates in their respective profession.
  • Support update, dissemination and use of clinical guidelines and protocols
  • Develop and maintain strong partnership with international HCPAs in their respective profession to support sharing of important clinical updates at the national and local level;
  • Support development, regular update and dissemination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, locally-relevant protocols and summary updates on the recent evidence for MNH;
  • Integrate updated clinical practice recommendations in preservice, in-service and continuous professional development programs;
  • Support care providers to access evidence-based literature by sharing information on recognized open access sources and securing institutional licenses for their members;
  • Support training and skills-building of members of professional associations on searching and critically apprising the medical literature in terms of strength of evidence and applicability of the recommendations to their local health care settings…

The HIFA vision aligns strongly with the above and we look forward to the possibility of collaboration with the new Network for Improving Quality of Care as it evolves.

Best wishes, Neil

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