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Complicated deliveries, critical care and quality in emergency obstetric care in Northern Tanzania



Complicated deliveries, critical care and quality in emergency obstetric care in Northern Tanzania



International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics: the Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 87(1): 98-108



Our objective was to determine the availability and quality of obstetric care to improve resource allocation in northern Tanzania. We surveyed all facilities providing delivery services (n=129) in six districts in northern Tanzania using the UN Guidelines for monitoring emergency obstetric care (EmOC). The three last questions in this audit outline are examined: Are the right women (those with obstetric complications) using emergency obstetric care facilities (Met Need)? Are sufficient quantities of critical services being provided (cesarean section rate (CSR))? Is the quality of the services adequate (case fatality rate (CFR))? Complications are calculated using Plan 3 of the UN Guidelines to assess the value of routine data for EmOC indicator monitoring. Nearly 60% of the expected complicated deliveries in the study population were conducted at EmOC qualified health facilities. 81.2% of the expected complicated deliveries are conducted in any facility (including facilities not qualifying as EmOC facilities). There is an inadequate level of critical services provided (CSR 4.6). Voluntary agencies provide most of these services in rural settings. All indicators show large variations with the setting (urban/rural location, level and ownership of facilities). Finally, there is large variation in the CFR with only one facility meeting the minimum accepted level. Utilization and quality of critical obstetric services at lower levels and in rural districts must be improved. The potential for improving the resource allocation within lower levels of the health care system is discussed. Given the small number of qualified facilities yet relatively high Met Need, we argue that it is neither the mothers' ignorance nor their lack of ability to get to a facility that is the main barrier to receiving quality care when needed, but rather the lack of quality care at the facility. Little can be concluded using the CFR to describe the quality of services provided.

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Accession: 004084482

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15464791

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2004.07.002


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