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Improving access to quality maternal and newborn care in low-resource settings: the case of Tanzania

PhD ceremony:Mr D.R. (Dunstan) Bishanga
When:June 25, 2019
Start:11:00
Supervisor:prof. dr. J. (Jelle) Stekelenburg
Co-supervisors:Prof. Y.M. Kim, Prof. M. Rijken
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Improving access to quality maternal and newborn care in
low-resource settings: the case of Tanzania

This thesis explores feasible and context-specific strategies that can help improve health care for mothers and babies in Tanzania and other countries with limited resources. It is based on the WHO Quality of Care Framework, which was designed along with the current WHO vision to guide assessment, monitoring, and improving care of mothers and newborns. The eight chapters in this thesis draw on research findings from three projects that worked to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care in Tanzania between 2008 and 2016.This thesis contributes evidence on practical approaches to improve timely access to good quality maternal and newborn care in low-resource settings like Tanzania. The findings suggest that it takes multifaceted strategies to ensure two complementary goals: first, that the provision of care meets quality standards and, second, that clients – particularly women – have a satisfactory experience of care. As part of their efforts to achieve SDG health targets by 2030, low-resource countries should adopt strategies to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care that are tailored to the local setting and focus on: improving health workers’ performance; making tools, resources and systems available in health facilities; and enriching interactions between the health care system and women and their families along the continuum of care. The Implications of the thesis’ findings are clear: multiple stakeholders must work collaboratively in order to make lasting improvements in the quality of health care for mothers and newborns in low-resource settings. Everyone has a role to play.