Many women living in developing countries are at risk of pregnancy-related complications including hemorrhage, obstructed labor, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, and infection. Problems that may complicate pregnancy and delivery, such as anemia, hypertensive disorders, and multiple pregnancies, also need to be detected and managed. In many developing countries, the presence of malaria, HIV, or syphilis can also harm a pregnancy, as can experience of intimate partner violence. If detected and managed early and correctly through accessing high-quality antenatal care services, pregnancies can be made safe and result in healthy babies.
Population Council focus
Council research and technical assistance seeks to:
- Better understand women's and couples' understanding of, access to, and use of antenatal care (ANC) during pregnancy;
- Strengthen national efforts to provide comprehensive, integrated packages of ANC services; and
- Develop innovative means for detecting and managing pregnancy-related complications.
Population Council impact
- In Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, the Council has supported public-sector efforts to strengthen implementation of the WHO-recommended Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) model for delivering ANC through four visits during pregnancy.
- In Ethiopia and Pakistan, the Council is piloting the use of misoprostol to reduce postpartum hemorrhage through community-based assisted management of the third stage of labor.
- In partnership with the University Research Corporation, the Council is reducing the adverse effects of malaria in pregnancy in Ghana through a USAID-funded community education and mobilization strategy to increase bed net use and early detection and treatment of malaria.
- Council research in Kenya, Mexico, and Nigeria has demonstrated innovative ways to prevent eclampsia through ensuring that magnesium sulfate is easily available during pregnancy. In northern Nigeria, this has led to a two-third reduction in maternal mortality due to eclampsia.
- In Kenya, the Council has developed a model of community midwifery that builds the capacity of self-employed midwives, supported by public-sector clinics, to provide antenatal and delivery care through home visits. The model is currently being scaled up by the Ministry of Health.
- In KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, where over one-third of pregnant women are living with HIV, the Council is supporting the development and roll-out of a revised policy and guidelines that integrate HIV services into antenatal care (and postnatal care) services.
Better understand women's and couples' understanding of, access to, and use of antenatal care (ANC) during pregnancy
- Pilot-testing the KwaZulu-Natal Integrated Antenatal and Postnatal Policy and Guidelines (more)
Council researchers are conducting a trial of the KwaZulu-Natal ANC/PNC guidelines in three priority districts in South Africa: Amajuba, Zululand, and Umkhanyakude.
(10/2007 - 9/2010)
- Monitoring and Evaluating the Primary Healthcare Revitalization, Integration and Decentralization in Earthquake-affected Areas (PRIDE) Program (more)
In Pakistan, the Council is providing support to the overall monitoring and evaluation functions of the PRIDE program.
(1/2007 - 8/2010)
- Demand-based Reproductive Health Commodity Project (more)
Council researchers introduced DBRHCP to increase use of reproductive health services by emphasizing creating demand and improving the quality of reproductive health services through informed choice.
(10/2005 - 8/2009)
- Improving the Health of Indigenous Guatemalan Women and Families by Strengthening Quality of Care in Maternity Waiting Homes (more)
Council researchers are developing strategies to ensure that maternity waiting homes are acceptable and used by indigenous women in Guatemala.
(1/2008 - 7/2009)
- Demand-based Reproductive Health Commodity Project: Voucher Scheme for Poor, Rural Women to Access Pregnancy Care (more)
Council researchers in Bangladesh tested providing financial assistance through vouchers to poor women for maternal health care.
(2/2007 - 9/2008)
- Managing and Preventing Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Among the Somali Community in Kenya (more)
Council research in Kenya worked to strengthen antenatal and delivery services in health facilities used by Somali women, among whom female genital cutting is almost universal; the project also includes a community component to encourage discussion and abandonment of FGC.
(6/2005 - 2/2008)
Strengthen national efforts to provide comprehensive, integrated packages of ANC services
- Integration of Family Planning into Antiretroviral Treatment (more)
Council researchers are providing assistance in strengthening the provision of FP services to HIV-positive women in South Africa.
(10/2008 - ongoing)
- Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) (more)
The Council is overseeing the management of the monitoring and evaluation component of the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) a five-year project designed to assist the Government of Pakistan in implementing the full spectrum of interventions necessary to address mother and newborn health.
(11/2004 - 9/2009)
- Creating Conditions for Implementing a Province-wide Comprehensive, Evidence-based Antenatal and Postnatal Care Package in KwaZulu-Natal (more)
Council researchers assisted in the development of policy to improve antenatal and postnatal care in South Africa.
(12/2004 - 12/2007)
Develop innovative means for detecting and managing pregnancy-related complications
- Promoting Dignified Care During Birth (more)
The Population Council was recently awarded a grant to study the level of disrespect and abuse of women that takes place during childbirth in healthcare facilities in Kenya. The issue is one that concerns three of the Council’s major priorities: maternal health, human rights, and gender.
(2/2011 - 1/2013)
Maternal and newborn health; Strengthening health systems
- Studies on Magnesium Sulfate Use to Manage Severe Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia in Oaxaca State, Mexico (more)
The Population Council is conducting research on the use and barriers to use of magnesium sulfate for cases of severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Oaxaca.
(1/2009 - 12/2011)
- Taking Critical Services to the Home: Scaling Up Home-based Maternal and Postnatal Care, Including Family Planning, Through Community Midwives (more)
Council research aims to improve access to skilled delivery care, newborn care, and post-delivery family planning services among women living in remote and resource-poor areas.
(1/2007 - 10/2011)
- Midterm Evaluation of a Project to Fight Obstetric Fistula in the Sahel Region, MOH/UNFPA Intervention Zone (more)
The Population Council is providing technical support to the government in Burkina Faso to reduce the maternal morbidity and mortality caused by obstetric fistula in the Sahel region.
(5/2010 - 7/2010)
- Scaling Up the Provision of Family Planning Messages in Antenatal and Postpartum Services in Upper Egypt (more)
The Population Council is assisting the Government of Egypt in integrating birth spacing and family planning messages into antenatal and postpartum services, with the ultimate goal of helping Egyptian women achieve healthy birth intervals and avoid unplanned, closely spaced pregnancies.
(6/2009 - 9/2010)
- Use of Magnesium Sulfate for Severe Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia in Mexico (more)
Council researchers are conducting a study on the use of magnesium sulfate for pregnant women with pre-eclampsia or eclampsia in Mexico.
(1/2007 - 12/2009)
- Expanding Access to Magnesium Sulfate in Kano State, Nigeria (more)
Council research helped educate health providers on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and administration of magnesium sulfate as a treatment for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
(2/2008 - 12/2008)
- Evaluation of the Integrated Strategy to Reduce Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Senegal (more)
Council researchers investigated the integrated introduction of active management of the third stage of labor and essential newborn care in five regions in Senegal.
(9/2007 - 10/2007)
- Training of Trainers for Traditional Birth Attendants
A Council project in Pakistan provided training of trainers to traditional birth attendants.
(3/2007 - 9/2007)
Ghana Essential Medicines Initiative (more)
The Council is collaborating with the Nkwanta Health Development Centre and U.S.-based pharmaceutical firms in a public–private partnership to provide new mechanisms for providing essential medicines for improved maternal and child health services in rural Ghana.
(6/2006 - 6/2009)
Extending Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV Through Postpartum Family Planning (more)
In Lesotho, Council researchers tested the feasibility and effect of a strengthened postpartum care program.
(5/2006 - 5/2008)
Integrating Tuberculosis Case Finding into Focused Antenatal Care (more)
Council researchers documented the feasibility of integrating TB detection within services for expectant mothers and prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
(8/2005 - 4/2008)
Community-based Kangaroo Mother Care to Prevent Neonatal and Infant Mortality (more)
Council researchers measured the effect of community-based kangaroo mother care on neonatal and infant survival as well as birth intervals associated with neonatal and infant survival.
(11/2004 - 3/2008)
Malaria in Pregnancy Pilot Projects Nationally Adopted in Kenya and Malawi (more)
Following successful pilot programs led by the Council to prevent malaria among antenatal clients, Kenya and Malawi have developed national policies to prevent malaria in pregnancy.
(1/1998 - 12/2004)
No publications are listed