Best Overall Oral Presentation at 3rd Irish Congress of Obstetrics

Victor Mukonka (PhD student, Supervisor Dr Patricia Fitzpatrick, Co-Supervisor Prof Fionnuala McAuliffe) won the Best Overall Oral Presentation at the recent 3rd Irish Congress of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatal Medicine 14-15 May 2015. His abstract “Increasing Institutional Deliveries By Skilled Birth Attendants Through Addressing Hidden Costs In Rural Zambia” was chosen from over 130 abstract submissions to be presented at the Best of the Crop Session where it was then selected as the Best Overall Oral Presentation at ICOGPM 2015. CLICK on blue title above for further details.

Zambia has a very high maternal mortality rate (591 per 100,000 live births). With single antenatal attendance high (93%), the rate of institutional delivery is poor (48%).The study aims to address high maternal mortality in rural areas due to low institutional deliveries by first gaining a deep understanding of the factors associated with place of delivery through a cross-sectional survey of pregnant women and women who had delivered in the past 10 years in Monze district and secondly providing non-financial incentives accompanied with health education and information leaflets to expectant mothers who chose to give birth at a health facility in form of a mother-baby delivery pack containing basic hygienic delivery supplies through a community intervention trial. The innovation of providing non-financial incentives was to increase the number of institutional deliveries by skilled birth attendants in rural Zambia and subsequently contribute to reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

The mother-baby delivery-pack has been developed responding to hidden barriers to institutional deliveries identified and expressed by the end users in the community (pregnant women and women who have delivered before) through the cross-sectional survey. It provides a high-impact, low-cost, easier-to-replicate and scale-up intervention using already existing systems in the health sector if effect is demonstrated. The study results will help policymakers design effective interventions to overcome reversible barriers hindering utilisation of health facilities for delivery.WHO fully supports the study, looking forward to the outcomes for likely application & replication in other countries and UNICEF equally supports the study and has supplied all the needed mother-baby delivery packs.

Dr Victor M Mukonka – PhD Student, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Population Science, University College Dublin
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