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

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This International Joint Statement was reviewed and endorsed by the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), and the International Pediatric Association (IPA).

Organizations are encouraged to endorse this statement and disseminate it through their communication channels.

Background

While major progress has been made over the past two decades to improve mortality outcomes in women and newborn— major disparities remain in survival rates around the time of birth for mothers and infants born in high-, middle- and lowincome countries. A significant gap continues to exist between actual and achievable health care outcomes, primarily because effective interventions are not implemented for every patient, every time. While access to and use of services for childbirth care has increased globally, and in some countries beyond expectations, the quality of care remains an impediment to accelerating the pace of reductions in preventable maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirths worldwide. The evidence for what to do to close the disparities gap has been known for years but there has been limited success in understanding how to implement these interventions.

Health Care Professional Associations (HCPAs) have the opportunity to play a fundamental role in ending preventable deaths among all women and newborns in their countries and worldwide. They are well-positioned to act as advocates and champions to influence health policy around key maternal and newborn priorities, set national standards of care, support the development, revision and dissemination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, provide continuous medical education and capacity-building and implement quality improvement mechanisms. The joint statement calls to action HCPAs to commit themselves to assume a critical leadership role to improve care of mothers and newborns to end preventable mortality.


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