Assessment of antenatal and postnatal care in Tajikistan

A team of international and national experts conducted an assessment of antenatal and postnatal care in Tajikistan on 15–25 April 2013, to identify quality gaps as well as to build local capacity to conduct assessments and monitor improvement. A WHO methodology and assessment tool was used in six primary health care facilities in Dushanbe, Sugd Oblast, Khatlon Oblast and the Region of Republican Subordination (RRS).

The assessment was conducted by a multidisciplinary team including obstetricians, gynecologists, family doctors, pediatricians/neonatologists and midwives. The team evaluated various aspects of primary health care practice and interviewed both providers and patients.

Outcome

The expert group presented its findings and recommendations at a national workshop on 26 April, during which participants discussed the next steps needed to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in Tajikistan. 

This initial assessment will help build the Ministry of Health’s capacity to carry out future  assessments of care provided at primary health care level, and to identify key areas of maternity, postpartum and newborn care that need improvement. The assessment results will also help identify key policy areas that need to be improved and to prioritize relevant actions to address health needs of mothers and children.

Background

WHO/Europe is involved in a continuous process of improving the quality of health care for mothers and babies at all levels of care. To assess the quality of care provided to mothers and newborns at primary care level, WHO has developed special tools based on international standards. These tools cover the main clinical aspects and help countries identify strengths and achievements, and also areas for improvement. The process of quality assessment involves the active participation of decision-makers, health professionals and consumers.

Currently, the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan is implementing a European Union funded project to provide technical assistance in support of health care reform and strengthening of primary health care (PHC). One of the specific objectives is to provide technical support to strengthen national capacity to assess and monitor the quality of PHC.

Within the framework of this project, WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Population Fund, United States Agency for International Development’s Quality Health Care Project and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) work jointly to support the Ministry of Health in assessing the quality of antenatal and postpartum care provided to women and children at PHC level in Tajikistan.