Rethinking Maternal and Newborn Health Services: Should We Promote Deliveries in Low-volume Primary Health Care Facilities?

Management Sciences for Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to bring together experts for a panel to discuss Thorny issues facing women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health.

In many low- and middle-income countries, women have been encouraged to deliver at the nearest health facility under the care of a skilled birth attendant. However, emerging evidence demonstrates that not all health facilities are equal in their capacity to respond to complications that occur around childbirth. This event responded to the recommendation from the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems that calls for the redesign of service delivery and prompts us to reexamine maternal and newborn care at the primary level.

Speakers discussed:

  • Can we guarantee maternal and neonatal safety and quality at low-volume, primary health centers?
  • If not, what would a shift to recommending deliveries in high-volume sites, or hospitals only, mean for health systems, communities, and equity?