January 5, 2011

How Best Can We Scale-Up Interventions To Prevent Stillbirths?

While some community-based interventions to prevent the 3.2 million annual deaths due to stillbirth have proved effective in controlled settings and specific contexts, there is an enormous challenge in bringing these interventions to scale. A new analysis in this week's PLoS Medicine addresses this "implementation research challenge" by identifying key priorities for research and action. Asha George from UNICEF, New York, USA and a group of international colleagues used the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methodology to score and rank implementation research questions about community-based maternal"“newborn interventions that address prematurity and stillbirths in different contexts at scale. The top five research questions they identify address equity (e.g., reaching the poor and marginalized, reducing financial barriers), behavioral practices and skills (e.g., engaging with social norms, identifying prematurity), and quality of care provided by community health workers. The top 15 questions encompass issues pertaining to behavioral interventions, community health workers, referral, and managing health systems.


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