Asia Regional Meeting on Interventions for Impact in Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care


Dhaka meeting highlights successes and ongoing challenges in maternal health

The South East Asian region has made remarkable progress in cutting maternal deaths, but a huge lack in quality care for mothers in pre- and post-delivery periods remains, according to maternal and newborn health leaders, and experienced clinicians and program managers, who had gathered for a three-day meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Asia Regional Meeting on Interventions for Impact in Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care brought experts together for a three-day gathering to support accelerated implementation and expansion of maternal and newborn health programs in countries in Asia and the Middle East. Organized by PMNCH members including the Government of Bangladesh, MCHIP, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Oxytocin Initiative, in collaboration with Women Deliver, VSI, FIGO, and ICM, the meeting focused on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia (PE/E) among other aspects of maternal and newborn health.

The first day included an overview of global and regional progress to date in the reduction of maternal mortality and an update on new global guidelines for PPH. Participants engaged in a technical discussion on PPH prevention and treatment, including a review of issues related to quality and availability of uterotonics and maternal health supplies. The second and third days allowed time to deliberate on management of pre-eclampsia and review PE/E program implementation experience, as well as interventions for newborns, including an entire afternoon devoted to skill building sessions and opportunities to more deeply explore some technical issues related to service delivery and training. True to the global perspective, the meeting emphasized PPH, PE/E and newborn initiatives from the platform of essential obstetric and newborn care, with respect to the broader maternal and newborn health context in general, exploring themes of innovation, scale up and measurement.