Updates to the Safe Delivery App Incorporate Respectful Maternity Care
The Safe Delivery App is a smartphone application that provides skilled birth attendants with direct and instant access to evidence-based and up-to-date clinical guidelines on basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care (BEmONC).
The Safe Delivery App leverages the growing ubiquity of mobile phones to provide life-saving information and guidance through easy-to-understand animated instruction videos, action cards, practical procedures and drug lists. It can serve as a training tool both in pre- and in-service training and equips birth attendants – even in the most remote areas – with a powerful on-the-job reference tool.
Maternity Foundation is proud to announce the release of an updated and improved version of the Safe Delivery App. It has been updated both in terms design to ensure a more intuitive user experience and content based on the newest clinical guidelines from the World Health Organization. These changes are in-line with Maternity Foundation’s priorities to ensure that the app is continuously updated to meet the newest global guidelines, and to make the adaptation process of the app – both at national level and within the UN and WHO system – as easy and efficient as possible.
In addition, the app now contains elements central to respectful maternity care (RMC). In many countries where the app is being used, fear of being treated poorly – abused, neglected, disrespected – in facilities keeps women away from using skilled care. According to the White Ribbon Alliance, RMC holds that safe motherhood is more than the just preventing death and disability, but further entails respect for women’s humanity, feelings, choices, and preferences around pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period.
RMC is not only the right thing for skilled birth attendants to do; it is the smart thing to do. This app is an important tool to help midwives understand and actualize this. Here is how the Safe Delivery App incorporates some of the key principals of RMC:
Every woman has the right to be free from harm and ill treatment. Every woman has the right to dignity and respect.
Much of the strength of the Safe Delivery App is through its visual elements which demonstrate clearly and concisely how to correctly handle emergencies. The visuals of the app also communicate, through demonstration, how a skilled birth attendant should treat a patient. Our skilled birth attendant conveys a kind, caring demeanor towards her patient, with a gentle hand on a shoulder, eye contact, and a smile.
Every woman has the right to information, informed consent, and refusal, and respect for her choices and preferences, including companionship during maternity care.
We added a birthing companion who is by the woman’s side throughout the entire childbirth process.
In addition, our guidelines instruct skilled birth attendants to inform women of what procedures entail and keep them well updated as to what is going on (see “Address” in the image to the right, our action card on vacuum delivery). We also added text that says “ask the woman’s consent” prior to procedures.
Every woman has the right to privacy and confidentiality. No one can expose you or your information.
We added a full blanket to cover the woman’s body including breasts, and added a blanket and bonnet for the infant to communicate the importance of dignity, privacy, respect and comfort.
These are just a few ways the Safe Delivery App aims to ensure skilled birth attendants can provide the highest quality basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care- respectfully, empathetically and equally. See more for yourself and download the App for free in English and French (for additional languages coming soon please contact us) on iTunes or Google Play.
Maternity Foundation has made a commitment with UN’s Every Woman Every Child to reach 20,000 skilled birth attendants before end 2018. If we reach this ambitious goal, we will help ensure 2 million women a safer and more respectful childbirth experience.
Both the original and updated versions of the Safe Delivery App are developed by Maternity Foundation, Copenhagen University and University of Southern Denmark and produced by Visikon. The development is supported by MSD for Mothers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Maternity Foundation supports key partners such as UNFPA, ministries of health, national midwifery organizations, the World Bank, Red Cross and Amref to implement the App in low- and middle-income countries across Africa and Asia.
Blog by Tara Morazzini Talvacchia, mHealth Manager, Maternity Foundation. At Maternity Foundation, Tara drives strategic efforts to implement the Safe Delivery App at scale in collaboration with cross-sector partners.