Improving Maternal Health

Addressing Women’s Reproductive Health Status in Crisis Situations

CDC’s DRH has worked with international humanitarian organizations that serve the reproductive health needs of women and their families since 1998. By applying its survey knowledge to refugee situations, DRH developed a tool kit to help these organizations to assess the reproductive health status and needs of women displaced from their homes because of natural and man-made disasters. These women may be refugees or internally displaced persons who are living in stabilized camp settings, returning to their country of origin, or integrating into the local host community.  Learn more about the Reproductive Health Assessment Toolkit, and about online training in using the Toolkitexternal icon.

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image of a mother holding her baby

Prospective Tracking of Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes (Kisumu, Kenya and Ifakara, Tanzania)

Rates of illness and death among mothers and infants are still regrettably high in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. In an effort to assess the use of emergency obstetric care and other services, including the unmet need for such services, CDC’s DRH is engaged in prospective pregnancy tracking in Demographic Surveillance Sites in Kenya and in Tanzania. Data were collected through postpartum interviews with the mothers; these interviews complemented the current practices of demographic surveillance programs to track a variety of health indicators. CDC’s DRH is analyzing these data to see how and where care and services can be improved and will provide this information to the district- and national-level government health services. Results will be used to develop more effective programs and services to improve health and reduce death rates. The lessons learned in these studies may be more broadly applicable in other areas of Africa.

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Training Public Health Leaders To Assess and Address Reproductive Health

Reproductive Health Epidemiology Assistance

Workshops on reproductive health epidemiology are conducted by CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) experts and tailored to the needs and interests of the host country. DRH staff also has provided technical assistance in the investigation of an array of reproductive health issues. Learn more and access information and resources for workshops and technical assistance.

Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)

FETP and FELTP are applied epidemiology programs offered by CDC to help foreign countries develop, set up, and implement dynamic public health strategies to improve and strengthen their public health system and infrastructure. DRH is developing training resources and technical support for FETP and FELTP in maternal and child health in several countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more about CDC’s FETP and FELTP programs.

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