Sessions Day 1

Welcome Remarks, Keynote Presentation, & Opening Plenaries

Welcome Remarks and Keynote Presentation

At Day One of the Opening Forum, Dr. Anshu Banerjee provided welcome remarks and Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng set us up for the day’s events. Dr. Queen Dube, AlignMNH Keynote Presenter, set the stage for two impactful days of knowledge sharing.

Road to 2030: New Challenges and New Opportunities to Accelerate Progress for Maternal and Newborn Health

The opening plenary featured a data-driven dialogue focused on the mother-baby dyad. Panelists spoke to the importance of global, national, and subnational data to track and review progress, emphasizing the critical need for the maternal and newborn health (MNH) communities to come together to accelerate progress, as well as highlighting the critical need to prioritize and sustain MNH services in the face of COVID-19. The role of midwives was in sharp focus as the panel explored the cost of not aligning the MNH communities. True to the forum’s focus on evidence, the panel discussion included a presentation and distillation of data from Countdown 2030 and the World Health Organization.

Moderator: Zoë Mullan, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet Global Health

Panelists include:

Dr. Ties Boerma
Professor, University of Manitoba

Dr. Franka Cadée
President, International Confederation of Midwives

Hon. Minister Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin
Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia

Featured Resources

Countdown 2030 – Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Data

Potential impact of midwives in preventing and reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths: a Lives Saved Tool modelling study

High-quality health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals era: A time for a revolution 

Divergent Roads to Progress—A Country by Country Examination of the Challenges Overcome and the Factors That Led to Success

Using country examples from the Exemplars in Global Health: MNH (Bangladesh and Nepal) and the World Health Organization’s Maternal Health Scoping Review (Sierra Leone and Guatemala), panelists highlighted country progress in meeting the needs of mothers and newborns, including discussing and debating success factors and strategies for overcoming challenges. This session provided greater insights into the drivers of success, both in terms of what seems to have contributed and what did not in comparison countries.

Moderator: Mary Kinney, Health Policy and Systems Researcher and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Western Cape’s School of Public Health

Panelists include:

Dr. Shams El Arifeen
Senior Director and Senior Scientist
Maternal and Child Health Division
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Dr. Sartie Kenneh
Acting Chief Officer for Public Health,
Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone

Dr. Sudha Sharma
Co-Director, Ciwec Hospital and Travel Medicine Center

Dr. Karin Slowing
Independent Consultant, PAHO Guatemala

Antenatal Corticosteroids for Improving Preterm Newborn Survival in Low-Resource Countries

Globally, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, and 1 million die due to complications resulting from their early birth. Despite its widespread use, the efficacy and safety of antenatal corticosteroids in low-resource settings is not widely known. This session focused on resolving the controversies about the efficacy and safety of antenatal corticosteroid (dexamethasone) when used in pregnant women at risk of preterm birth. Panelists shared their contextual experiences from the trial implementation and their implications for individual countries, and other low-resource settings.

Moderator: Dr. Femi Oladapo, Head of the Maternal and Perinatal Unit, World Health Organization

Panelists include:

Dr. Shabina Ariff
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health
The Aga Khan University

Dr. Zahida Qureshi
Associate Professor, University of Nairobi

Dr. Adejumoke Idowu Ayede
College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital Ibadan

Dr. Shivaprasad Goudar
Professor of Physiology & Director of Research,
J N Medical College, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research

National Forums on Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Launched in February 2017, the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health is a broad-based partnership of committed governments, implementation partners, and funding agencies working to deliver the vision that every pregnant woman and newborn receives good quality care with equity and dignity. During the last four years, the countries that are part of the Quality of Care Network have developed national guidelines on quality of care, adopted the World Health Organization’s Standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn care in health facilities, implemented at the district and facility levels, initiated learning activities aiming to enhance maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes, and continued to monitor progress.

The first part of this session will cover learning from implementation of the Quality of Care Network activities that are critical for scaling up and sustaining implementation of quality MNH interventions and services in Ghana and Nigeria. This will be followed by the presentation of the results of the first Quality of Care Network progress report. Using these lessons learned, the second part of this session will be interactive. Participants will work together to identify four critical questions that must be prioritized by the Quality of Care National Forums of the Network countries to contribute toward global learning and knowledge development on scaling up quality of care for MNH.

Moderator: Dr. Blerta Maliqi, Policies, Strategies, and Programmes Team Lead, World Health Organization

Panelists include:

Dr. Tedbabe Degefie Hailegebriel
Senior Advisor Maternal and Newborn Health

Dr. Salma Anas
Director/Head, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria

Dr. Isabella Sagoe-Moses
Deputy Director, Reproductive and Child Health
Ghana Health Service

Dr. Nuhu Yaqub, Jr.
Family Health Divison
World Health Organization

Dr. Anshu Banerjee
Director, World Health Organization

Mr. Martin Dohlsten
Technical Officer MNCH
World Health Organization

Improving Experience of Care and Reducing Mistreatment of Women during Childbirth and of Newborns

Following the increase in facility-based childbirth in many low- and middle-income countries, the emphasis has shifted to improve the quality of care at facilities, including women’s experience of care. Mistreatment of women during childbirth is a key aspect of poor quality of care, a deterrent for women to seek facility-based care, with serious implications on human rights. Mistreatment of newborns and respectful newborn care is too often missing from this discussion. This session presented latest evidence on measurement, discussed emerging issues around quality of care for the mother and newborn, and offered future directions in identifying strategies to inform policy and program decisions.

Moderator: Dr. Özge Tunçalp, Scientist, World Health Organization

Moderator: Dr. Patience Afulani, Assistant Professor, UCSF

Panelists include:

Dr. Theresa Irinyenikan
Senior Lecturer/Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Nigeria

Dr. Saraswathi Vedam
Principal and Professor
Birth Place Lab, University of British Columbia

Dr. Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh
Senior Lecturer/Consultant Obstretician-Gynecologist
University of Ghana Medical School/Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital

Dr. Emma Sacks
Associate Faculty
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Dr. Meghan Bohren
Senior Research Fellow
University of Melbourne