Improving maternal and perinatal health care in the Central Asian Republics (journal article)
Objective: To describe our experience of a complex training intervention to introduce effective perinatal care, evidence-based medicine, national confidential enquiries into maternal deaths, and facility-based near-miss case reviews in the Central Asian Republics. Methods: We describe our experiences from training sessions and report on findings from data extraction from patient records, patient interviews, discussions with healthcare staff, and observation of health care during our follow-up visits. Results: Many outdated practices in perinatal care have been abandoned, and several recommended approaches have been adopted in pilot facilities. Familiarity with the concept of evidence-based medicine has increased among participants. National confidential enquiries into maternal deaths are being prepared and facility-based near-miss case reviews piloted. Conclusion: The experience of the complex training intervention to improve maternal and perinatal health care in the Central Asian Republics is encouraging, but roll-out will be challenging. The quality of care and the attitudes of healthcare providers will have to be monitored continuously.