Blogging has been light around here lately (more on all the things happening in my life shortly) but in the meantime, a comment published in the Lancet this week was so right on the money that I knew I had to blog about it…immediately.
In this comment, Wendy Graham (whose work I profoundly admire) and Beena Varghese argue that current proposed efforts to improve Maternal and Child Health via the UN Secretary-General’s new Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health are nothing less than “insane”. They argue it is time to, in their words:
…seize this opportunity to address a global insanity—continuing over and over again to deliver poor-quality health services for women and children and yet expecting positive results.
What is the problem with current efforts? They argue that current efforts are too focus on expanding “coverage” and are not focused enough on exactly what is delivered and how – that is the quality of services delivered. I could not agree more.
“What you count is what you do” is a reality that helps to explain the national and international neglect of quality targets. There is a danger of presuming sustained reductions in mortality on the basis of increased coverage of services but without intelligence about the content and quality of care.
Specifically, they argue:
This repositioning requires something else to be done differently: to routinely and robustly monitor quality along the continuum of care, including users’ perspectives as well as providers’.
What?! Asking women what they actually want and what it is they value in terms of the services that are being made available to them?! That is just crazy talk! What do they know! Actually, that has been a big part of some of the new projects I have been working on this past year in Kenya and to some extent in Ghana (see excuse above to justify the lack of blogging).
A highly recommended read.Share on Facebook