Family Care International: A systematic review of the interconnections between maternal & newborn health

APRIL 2012 - The health of a mother and her newborn are closely linked: most maternal and newborn deaths are caused by the poor health of the mother before or during pregnancy, or by poor quality care during and immediately after childbirth.

In close collaboration with researchers at Aga Khan University, Family Care International (FCI) undertook a program of work to highlight these interconnections and identify common advocacy messages to promote investment in and implementation of evidence-based interventions found to be beneficial to both women and newborns. A systematic review assessed recent and on-going research of the impact of potential interventions on maternal and newborn outcomes, with a particular emphasis on linkages between the two.

Building on the findings emerging from the systematic review (being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal later in 2012), FCI and Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta of Aga Khan University developed core advocacy messages. These messages formed the basis of a set of advocacy materials for dissemination at key meeting and events:

  • An executive summary of the full research paper, in technical language for research/academic/medical audiences, including health care professionals, program managers, and academicians
  • A pocket card, designed for advocates and policymakers, that incorporates the review findings and key messages for non-technical audiences