Article

Improving postpartum care delivery and uptake by implementing context-specific interventions in four countries in Africa: a realist evaluation of the Missed Opportunities in Maternal and Infant Health (MOMI) project

Details

Citation

Djellouli N, Mann S, Nambiar B, Meireles P, Miranda D, Barros H, Bocoum FY, Yaméogo WME, Yaméogo C, Belemkoabga S, Tougri H, Coulibaly A, Kouanda S, Mochache V & Mwakusema OK (2017) Improving postpartum care delivery and uptake by implementing context-specific interventions in four countries in Africa: a realist evaluation of the Missed Opportunities in Maternal and Infant Health (MOMI) project. BMJ Global Health, 2 (4), Art. No.: e000408. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000408

Abstract
Postpartum care (PPC) has remained relatively neglected in many interventions designed to improve maternal and neonatal health in sub-Saharan Africa. The Missed Opportunities in Maternal and Infant Health project developed and implemented a context-specific package of health system strengthening and demand generation in four African countries, aiming to improve access and quality of PPC. A realist evaluation was conducted to enable nuanced understanding of the influence of different contextual factors on both the implementation and impacts of the interventions. Mixed methods were used to collect data and test hypothesised context–mechanism–outcome configurations: 16 case studies (including interviews, observations, monitoring data on key healthcare processes and outcomes), monitoring data for all study health facilities and communities, document analysis and participatory evaluation workshops. After evaluation in individual countries, a cross-country analysis was conducted that led to the development of four middle-range theories. Community health workers (CHWs) were key assets in shifting demand for PPC by ‘bridging’ communities and facilities. Because they were chosen from the community they served, they gained trust from the community and an intrinsic sense of responsibility. Furthermore, if a critical mass of women seek postpartum healthcare as a result of the CHWs bridging function, a ‘buzz’ for change is created, leading eventually to the acceptability and perceived value of attending for PPC that outweighs the costs of attending the health facility. On the supply side, rigid vertical hierarchies and defined roles for health facility workers (HFWs) impede integration of maternal and infant health services. Additionally, HFWs fear being judged negatively which overrides the self-efficacy that could potentially be gained from PPC training. Instead the main driver of HFWs’ motivation to provide comprehensive PPC is dependent on accountability systems for delivering PPC created by other programmes. The realist evaluation offers insights into some of the contextual factors that can be pivotal in enabling the community-level and service-level interventions to be effective.

Keywords
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; Health Policy

Notes
Additional co-authors: Eunice Irungu, Peter Gichangi, Zione Dembo, Angela Kadzakumanja, Charles Vidonji Makwenda, Judite Timóteo, Misete G Cossa, Malica de Melo, Sally Griffin, Nafissa B Osman, Severiano Foia, Emilomo Ogbe, Els Duysburgh, Tim Colbourn

Journal
BMJ Global Health: Volume 2, Issue 4

StatusPublished
FundersEuropean Commission (Horizon Europe)
Publication date30/11/2017
Publication date online25/11/2017
Date accepted by journal18/10/2017
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/34013
PublisherBMJ
ISSN2059-7908
eISSN2059-7908

People (1)

People

Dr Diana Miranda
Dr Diana Miranda

Lecturer in Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology