Category Archives: Quality of Services

Results of an evaluation of the Toolkit to Improve Early and Sustained Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp) Uptake in Mozambique and Madagascar

Lalanirina Ravony, Elana Fiekowsky, Lisa Noguchi, Patricia P. Gomez, Jean Pierre Rakotovao, Eliane Razafimandimby, Armindo Tiago, Kathryn Smock, Arsene Ratsimbarisoa, Kristen Vibbert, and Robert Sellke shared their efforts to apply a toolkit to enable health providers to ensure better uptake of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during antenatal clinics. As seen below, they presented their findings at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Malaria in pregnancy (MIP) is a leading cause of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality; however uptake of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP), an effective prevention tool, remains alarmingly low across sub-Saharan Africa, including Mozambique and Madagascar.

The WHO 2012 policy recommendations to prevent MIP include early enrollment into antenatal care (ANC), accurate estimation of gestational age (GA) and administration of IPTp-SP during ANC visits beginning early in the second trimester, spaced at least one month apart. Preventing MIP remains a challenge in settings with inconsistent application of these recommendations and inadequate provider training in estimating GA.

To improve adherence to these recommendations, a toolkit was designed which includes a job aid with an algorithm to guide providers during ANC visits to determine IPTp-SP eligibility. Twenty-four providers from 24 facilities in Madagascar and 29 providers from seven facilities in Mozambique were trained on use of the job aid and interviewed three months later about their experience.

Individual providers were interviewed using a questionnaire to assess the clarity and utility to the job aid, and their opinions of the practicality of the orientation. Interviewers also gathered information on years of experience and clinical certification. All providers reported that the job aid reminded them to estimate GA and measure fundal height, which is particularly helpful since few women remember the date of their last menstrual period (LMP).

Health workers also reported that the job helped them encourage the use of long-lasted insecticide treated nets, and reminded them of the proper timing to start IPTp-SP. We conclude that the toolkit is useful to prompt providers to calculate GA and offer IPTp as early as possible in the second trimester.

Future potential directions include revision of all Toolkit components to reflect input from this evaluation, including development of a wall poster version to enhance readability, and inclusion of a pregnancy wheel to facilitate calculation of GA and estimated date of delivery.

This poster was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement AID-OAA-A-14-00028. The contents are the responsibility of the Maternal and Child Survival Program and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Using the Antenatal Care Quality Improvement Tool and targeted training to strengthen ANC Services including MiP in Tanzania

Malaria prevention in pregnancy (MIP) is a major component of antenatal services in endemic countries. Jasmine Chadewa, Dunstan Bishanga, Elaine Roman, Godlisten Martin, Kristen Vibbert, Lauren Borsa, Agrey Mbilinyi, Jeremie Zoungrana, and Hussein Kidanto describe how they applied a quality improvement tool to strengthen ANC and MIP services at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their findings follow:

Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) is a major, preventable cause of maternal morbidity and poor birth outcomes. In collaborations with partners, Tanzania’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and the Reproductive and Child Health Unit has been working to promote the World Health Organization’s three-pronged approach to address the burden of MiP.

A malaria training for 180 supervisors and 360 ANC providers from 221 health facilities was conducted in the Kagera and Mara regions. Updates included an orientation on MiP as well as malaria case management, screening, data management and ITN promotion.
Prior to the training, facility baseline assessments were conducted using the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC) antenatal care quality improvement (ANC QI) tool to identify gaps in knowledge and skills of health providers to better target trainings to improving the quality of ANC services.

A second assessment took place six months post training. Both assessments included hospital, health facility and dispensary levels and included observation, interviews, record reviews and skills assessments.

Results demonstrated that over 90% of the facilities scored below 30% across all categories in the overall baseline assessment with a high score of 35 %, while the 2nd assessment showed a large improvement with 40% of the facilities scoring below 30% and a high score of 70%.

The ANC QI tool is effective in determining the impact of ANC health provider’s knowledge and skills to target training to improve ANC service quality.

The presentation was made possible through support provided to the USAID Boresha Afya Project, under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement AID-621-A-16-00003 by the President’s Malaria Initiative via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an inter-agency agreement with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the President’s Malaria Initiative via the US Agency for International Development.

Strengthening Nursing & Midwifery Training Through Implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement Process in Tanzania

Annamagreth Mukwenda, John George, Mary Rose Giatas, Gustav Moyo, and Justine Ngenda have been promoting Continuous Quality Improvement and mentoring with nurses and midwives in Tanzania. They shared their experiences working with the Maternal and Child Survival Program and Tanzanian Government agencies at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Tanzania is one of the countries with critical shortage of human resource for health. The coverage of skilled birth attendants is about 50%, which connote sub-optimal quality of care contributing to poor neonatal and maternal outcomes.

Training and deploying adequate numbers of competent health workers is one of the objectives of the Tanzania National Health Policy. The government of Tanzania and partners like Jhpiego led Maternal and Child Health Survival Program, are working to improve the training environment hence competent graduates.

In support of quality trainings, Jhpiego in collaboration with the Ministry of Health are implementing the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process which encourages health training institutions to improve quality teaching and learning by focusing on Classroom and Practical Instructions, Clinical instruction and practice, Institutional Infrastructure, Learning and Teaching Materials and Institutional Governance and Administration.

A baseline assessment was done using the CQI guide in 10 training institutions to assess the quality of training and educational process, output and outcomes for the provision of quality nursing and midwifery care. Results indicated substandard outcomes with scores less than 50% at most schools.

All 10 schools were oriented on CQI process including its implementation. Quarterly assessment by a team comprised of institutions’ quality improvement teams, Ministry of Health and Jhpiego were done and gaps identified addressed through supportive supervision and mentorship.

Training institution are progressively improving their training capabilities. The teaching learning environment has improved substantially with an average score 95% during external verification from 45% baseline score. After eighteen months of program implementation, three schools have been recognized for their outstanding performance and were presented with trophies and certificates as a motivation. This translates into increased number of skilled health care workers from rural nursing schools with required competency to avert maternal and neonatal deaths.

Contribution of the Standards-Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R) approach to fighting malaria in Burkina Faso

Quality improvement tools play an important role in ensuring better malaria services.  Moumouni Bonkoungou, Ousmane Badolo, and Thierry Ouedraogo describe how

Standards Based Management and Recognition Approach to Quality Improvement

Jhpiego’s quality approach, Standards-Based Management and Recognition, was applied to enhancing the provision of malaria services in Burkina Faso at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their work was supported through the President’s Malaria Initiative and the USAID Improving Malaria Care Project.

In 2015, Burkina Faso recorded 8,286,463 malaria cases, including 450,024 severe cases with 5379 deaths. The main reasons for these death are:  Inadequate application of national malaria diagnosis and treatment guidelines, delays in seeking health care and poor quality of case management.

The Standards-Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R) approach is used to improve quality of care using performance standards based on national guidelines. SBM-R includes the following steps:

  • set performance standards
  • implement the standards
  • monitor progress and
  • recognize as well as celebrate achievements

Areas or domains assessed by the approach are: services organization, case management at both health center and community, Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp), promotion of Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLIN) use and infection prevention and control.

Since June 2016, 26 health facilities in three regions have been implementing SBMR. Therefore, 105 health workers have been trained. Performance progress was measured through 5 evaluations including baseline. Baseline has shown the highest score was 47% (Kounda) while the lowest was 9% (Niangoloko).

The main issues observed were: lack of program activities, management tools, handwashing facilities, LLINs and misuse of Rapid Diagnosis Tests. Their cause was determined and an improvement plan was developed by each site. The second, third and final evaluations revealed a change in performance scores for all sites.

The external evaluation showed 17 out of 26 health facilities with a score higher than 60%; among them 10 with a score above 80% (Bougoula, 94%). At the same time, IPTp 3 increased from 34.48% in 2014 to 78.38% in 2016 and no malaria death has been registered since October 2015.

For the site under 80% the key reasons were: staff turnover, commodities stock-out and lack of infrastructure. The process continues with recognition of health facilities and supporting others (those at less than 80%) to reach the desired performance level. The SBM-R approach appears to be a great tool for improving quality and performance of health facilities.

Enhancing Core Competencies & Improving Midwifery Quality of Care in Lake Zone, Tanzania

With support from USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Project in Tanzania Annamagreth Mukwenda, John George George, Mary Rose Giatas, Agrey Mbilinyi, Gustav Moyo, and Justine Ngenda have been addressing the quality of case and services provided by midwives. Their poster at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is summarized below.

In sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality is unacceptably high accounting for 56% of all maternal deaths. Tanzania is not different. It is estimated that five in every 100 children die before their first birthdays and that four women out of 1000 live births die due to pregnancy related causes.

With prompt recognition and timely intervention most maternal and neonatal deaths can be avoided. Access to skilled care at these critical times save lives.

A new initiative is working to improve midwifery care by building capacity of training institutions to prepare highly skilled nurse-midwives to enhance on job live saving skills.
In 2014 A collaboration between the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Jhpiego through Maternal child survival program (MCSP), conducted a baseline assessment to assess the quality of midwifery pre-service education to adequately prepare students with the clinical skills to provide competent nursing and midwifery care.

Four nursing and midwifery schools from two regions of Lake Zone were assessed to identify issues affecting the schools’ ability to produce clinically competent graduates in nursing and midwifery. Among things, the assessment focused on tutors and recent graduates, with findings showing critical deficit on content/skill competencies.

To address these challenges, midwifery tutors from 9 schools (100%) were updated in high impact midwifery interventions through trainings and supportive supervision including coaching and mentorship. Skills labs were also equipped with all mannequins necessary for midwifery training.

The program is in the third year of implementation with tremendous improvement in midwifery training as evidenced by students final examination results as well as tutors’ and students’ testimonies.

Experience of MCSP approach to strengthen competencies of graduates has contributed to improve midwifery quality of care to reduce maternal deaths in Tanzania.

Implementation of a Quality Improvement Approach for Malaria Service Delivery in Zambezia Province, Mozambique

Baltazar Candrinho, Armindo Tiago, Custodio Cruz, Mercino Ombe, Katherine Wolf, Maria da Luz Vaz, Connie Lee and Rosalia Mutemba are sharing their work during a scientific session on enhancing quality of care for malaria services in Mozambique at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine 66th Annual Meeting on 6 November 2017. A summary of their talk follows:

In Mozambique, malaria in pregnancy (MIP) is one of the leading causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. Malaria also accounts for over 40% of deaths in children less than five years old. With provincial and facility-level commitment, a simple and comprehensive quality improvement (QI) system has been established in 10 of 16 districts in Zambezia Province.

Since 2016, the Mozambique Ministry of Health (MOH) and Zambezia Provincial Health Directorate, in collaboration with partners, have implemented a malaria QI effort based on the Standards-Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R) approach. A standards-based approach to improving quality of malaria care engages both management and service providers to work together to assess the current performance, address gaps to ensure that all patients receive a minimum (standardized / evidence-based) package of care, and ultimately improve patient outcomes and facility performance.

Thirty-one performance standards in five content areas (MIP, Case Management, Laboratory, Pharmacy, and Management of Human Resources and Malaria Commodities) were developed and adopted by the MOH in 2016. With support from partners, 40 health workers, including managers, clinicians and lab technicians, received training on SBM-R, and facility QI teams were established.

These teams use checklists based on standards to conduct quarterly assessments that identify performance gaps, and then develop action plans to address areas of improvement. The MOH antenatal care and child health registers also contain information on coverage of key malaria interventions, including IPTp, and malaria diagnosis and treatment during pregnancy and for children under five with fever.

Average attainment of standards at baseline in 20 health facilities was 30%, and is expected to improve as implementation progresses with quarterly application of the checklist (data will be available before November). Improvements in key malaria indicators for pregnant women and children under five years old are expected as the percentage of standards attained increases.

Institutionalization of Quality of Care in Health Facilities Improves Management of Malaria in Pregnancy in Tanzania

Jasmine W. Chadewa and Rita Mutayoba of Jhpiego’s Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, office are presenting a poster at the 64th ASTMH Annual Meeting in Philadelphia at noon on Tuesday 27th October 2015. Please stop by Poster 680 and discuss the results as presented in the Abstract below.

IPTp picture aidMalaria in Pregnancy (MiP) is one of the contributors to maternal mortality in Tanzania which persists at a ratio of 410/100,000 live births. Tanzania implements WHO’s three-pronged approach to prevent MiP (use of insecticide treated bednets (ITNs), intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and prompt diagnosis and treatment).

Efforts are ongoing to improve IPTp and ITN coverage which is 33% and 75%, respectively. Jhpiego, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, worked in 251 health facilities to improve the quality of maternal and neonatal health by building the capacity of health care providers through training, supportive supervision, mentoring and coaching. A total of 7,181 providers and 400 tutors were trained on MiP prevention and treatment.

A quality of care study used the same methodology and sampling approach in 2010 and 2012, combining observations of women during antenatal care, inventory and record review as well as health worker knowledge. A team of MNH experts underwent clinical updates, training and orientation to the study tools.

mother & child TanzaniaData collection teams visited facilities, made observations and entered data into smart phones. The study was conducted in 12 regional hospitals and 38 lower level facilities in 12 regions including Zanzibar with a total of 391 and 366 ANC observations made in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

Between 2010 and 2012, the percentage of women receiving an ITN increased by 26% (p value = <0.0001). The change observed was due to a 33% increase in offering ITN vouchers at health centers and dispensaries. A slight improvement was seen in provision of IPTp(SP) from 62% in 2010 to 65% in 2012.

In Tanzania, application of the quality improvement approach contributed to improving MiP services. Moving forward, there is a need for the Ministry to continue strengthening ANC with effective monitoring and routine supervision to increase coverage of MiP prevention. Districts management teams and facilities need to ensure availability of SP and provide regular technical updates on the national service standards including counseling at ANC and birth preparedness.