Media Coverage

The Lancet: Maternal Health Series Highlights Council’s Charlotte Warren, Maternal Health Research

A new Maternal Health Series from The Lancet assesses global "maternal health, its epidemiology, successes, and current failings." A World Report article in the Series about challenges for maternal health efforts quotes Charlotte Warren, who leads the Council's maternal health work, and cites findings from our Respectful Maternity Care project in Kenya.

Though structural barriers to quality maternal healthcare exist, many maternal deaths are preventable and can be addressed with existing, low-cost interventions. Amy Lieberman, a journalist writing for the Lancet, highlights Charlotte Warren on the subject:

"Most health experts say there is no mystery surrounding what is needed to tackle maternal deaths, many of which are preventable. 'We know what can be done', said Charlotte Warren, who leads maternal health research at the Population Council, a public health research organisation. Some of the non-profit's main projects now centre on post-partum haemorrhages and pre-eclampsia. 'Very simple things can be done. Women are not getting access to basic services in many countries.'"

Later in the article, Lieberman draws attention to the increasing focus on quality-of-care in maternal health, particularly how new indicators about respectful care are measured, evaluated and improved. 

"A recent study co-authored by Warren showed that one in five women who gave birth at 13 Kenyan health facilities said they felt humiliated during labour or delivery. Follow-up interventions over the next year and a half, including the improvement of linkages between community and health facilities and stress management for health-care providers, resulted in a 7% decrease in these reported feelings. 'It's a global issue. What happens in many places, when you ask women, ‘Why don't you go to the hospital?’ they will say, ‘The provider is rude, or not friendly’', Warren explained. 'Until recently this has been anecdotal, but in these last few years since the first prevalence studies were conducted, there has been a groundswell of interest and we have realised that we can do something about it.'"

The study comes from the Council's Heshima: Promoting Dignified and Respectful Care During Childbirth project, which investigates the causes of disrespectful and abusive care during childbirth in Kenyan health facilities and develops interventions to reduce this problem.

Read more at The Lancet.