Maternal, perinatal health systems launched by PAHO in Dominica

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A flag map of Dominica (image: courtesy of Gordon Johnson)

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has launched an essential mission in Dominica to assess and improve the country’s maternal and perinatal health services. This four-day expedition, headed by two outstanding specialists in their fields, demonstrates PAHO’s continuous commitment to assisting Dominica in building her health system and improving maternal health outcomes. Dr Gillian Birchwood, a paediatrician with the Barbados Ministry of Health, and Dr Lucilla Charles, an obstetrician-gynaecologist with the St Lucia Ministry of Health, are the PAHO-hired temporary advisors in charge of the mission. Their significant experience and commitment to maternal and perinatal health will be critical in completing a thorough audit and making practical suggestions.

The principal objective of this mission is to audit Dominica’s Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) system, an essential technique for improving maternal and neonatal care quality. It contributes significantly to evidence-based advocacy, policy formation, planning, service delivery, and accountability, all of which are critical for making progress toward eliminating preventable maternal and newborn mortality.

Conducting this MPDSR audit by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines is an essential component of PAHO’s effort to minimize maternal and perinatal death rates in the region. The audit’s findings will guide targeted measures aimed at addressing the underlying causes of maternal and newborn fatalities, ultimately leading to better healthcare outcomes.

PAHO’s support for Dominica in this initiative demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to improving health systems throughout the region. By focusing on maternal and perinatal health, PAHO hopes to create a robust healthcare system to improve mothers’ and newborns’ health and well-being in the long run.

The Honorable Cassanni Laville, Minister of Health, Wellness, and Social Services, met with the visiting team at the outset of the Mission. He stated, “I am delighted with PAHO’s support for this mission. This investigation will evaluate our systems and make recommendations for implementing effective initiatives to reduce future deaths and improve the overall quality of maternal and neonatal care in Dominica. I extend a cordial welcome to the visiting team and appreciate PAHO’s assistance to the Dominican Government and people.”

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