EHS-COVID (69) Q1 How has COVID-19 affected the delivery of essential health services? (11) Impact on maternal and newborn health

20 November, 2020

With thanks to Care-Seeking & Referral Community of Practice, who held a webinar yesterday on Sounding the Alarm: Overcoming the fear of using services during Covid-19.

A recording is available here:

November 19, 2020

Sounding the Alarm: Overcoming the fear of using services during Covid-19 – audio recording

Effect of COVID-19 pandemic response on intrapartum care and stillbirth and neonatal mortality outcomes in Nepal: prospective cohort observational study – presented by Ashish KC, Uppsala Univeristy

[NPW note: The above study found use of hospital facilities for births was reduced by approximately half compared with the beginning of the study period. There was a 30% increase in preterm birth and 46% increase in stillbirth. Neonatal mortality was three times greater during the lockdown period compared with before lockdown.]

Midwives & Midwifery Practice and Education Matters at the Roof of the World in Pandemic – presented by Rafat Jan, Aga Khan University

Opening remarks by Loveday Penn-Kekana, USAID’s CIRCLE Project and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

[NPW note. In these remarks Loveday notes the reasons why COVID-19 is Impacting Facility Birth?

- Difficulty reaching facility due to disruption of referral and transport networks and/or movement limitations and restrictions.

- Financial impact of COVID and inability to pay fees.

- Fear of being exposed to COVID at facility.

- Fear of retention at facility if diagnosed with COVID-19/ have a temperature

- Services unavailable and/or poor quality of care due to: HRH understaffing of health workers who are either sick, scared to come to work, or reallocated & supply chain disruptions at-large.

- Disrespectful care from non-evidence based policies (e.g, separation of mothers and babies or forced c-section for COVID+ mothers).

- Very little work has actually been done talking to women and their families

- Hugely varies between regions & countries/ over time ]

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: