Methodology

 

The overall strategy of the project is based on the assumption that postpartum care for women and newborns has been neglected in much of sub-Saharan Africa and on the hypothesis that strengthening postpartum services and systems can improve health outcomes for women and newborns. Based on the results of a maternal and newborn health policy and system analysis (year 1) in each research site, context-specific packages of interventions to strengthen postpartum health care delivery will be designed (year 2) and implemented (year 2 to year 5) at each site. The effectiveness and impact of these intervention packages on the respective health systems as well as on population (maternal and newborn) health outcomes will be studied (year 3 to year 5). Finally, individual and cross-country analysis of the effectiveness of the postpartum intervention packages will be done to improve knowledge on health system options for delivery of postpartum care. Planned dissemination of these findings will enable us to provide health policy recommendations concerning postpartum health care delivery applicable to other sub-Saharan African countries, or low- and middle- income countries elsewhere (year 5). Capacity strengthening, and reporting and dissemination of research results will occur throughout the research cycle, with the latter two components a major feature of the final project phase.