Skill building on Perinatal Death Reviews: A facilitator guide and resources

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Every Newborn Action Plan 2014, called for “Counting Every Newborn” by investing in birth and death registration coverage and quality; promoting recording of every birth, live or stillbirth; recording stillbirths and neonatal deaths; and institutionalizing perinatal death reviews and taking action to address avoidable factors identified through these reviews.

UNICEF and WHO together with other partners in the global maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) technical working group have developed a facilitator guide coupled with power-point presentations and other resources that can be used for skills building of health facility teams for setting up perinatal audit committee and conducting perinatal death audits. This resource is intended to be used in sync with other MPDSR initiatives in country and linked to efforts for improving quality of care for mothers and newborns.

The guide focuses on clarifying common myths and misconceptions; defining key terminologies; explains aims and objectives of perinatal mortality reviews and audit cycle. It provides guidance for setting up facility processes to conduct effective reviews and strengthen linkages with quality improvement efforts. Multiple case studies and tools are used to clarify concepts and allow practice exercises to calculate important perinatal indicators.

Each neonatal death and stillbirth is an immense tragedy but if the lessons are learnt and systemic failures are addressed, lives can be saved by corrective action. Conducting perinatal death reviews in a non-judgmental, non-punitive and culturally sensitive manner is important to build confidence of health providers for using this important tool in a meaningful way.

Presentations for the Skills Building Workshop on Perinatal Death Reviews for Health Facility Teams include:


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