Myanmar RMNCH Quality of Care Project

Dates: 2015-2017

Country: Myanmar

Client(s): United Nations Children's Fund

Services: Assessment, Applied Technology, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research, Technical Assistance, Training, Quality Assurance and Improvement, Capacity Development, Knowledge Management

Technical Expertise: Family Planning & Reproductive Health, Health Systems Strengthening, Applied Technology, Maternal Health, Newborn and Child Health , Nutrition, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation

In Myanmar, at least 1,900 pregnant women and 53,000 children under the age of five die annually, largely from preventable causes. The government of Myanmar has committed itself to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030. The health sector faces significant challenges in delivery of health services which are a barrier to access to and utilization of quality services. Despite improved coverage of health service interventions in some areas in Myanmar, quality of care remains a concern and further progress toward reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality will need to factor in quality of care improvement activities.

In Myanmar, midwives are the first line of skilled care for pregnant women/mothers, newborns, and children in the community. Improvement in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) outcomes relies upon the ability of midwives to correctly counsel, provide service, follow-up, and refer urgent cases to higher levels of care. In settings where midwives and community health workers are families’ first contact with the health system, mHealth solutions have been shown to be a promising means to improving provider-client interactions. The recent opening and rapid expansion of mobile networks and services in Myanmar presents an important opportunity to leverage mobile platforms to contribute to improved health outcomes.

Under the two-year, UNICEF-funded Myanmar RMNCH Quality of Care Project, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and its partner Dimagi, Inc. will work in partnership with UNICEF to contribute to improved quality of RMNCH care delivered by midwives working in rural and sub-rural health centers in the country. The JSI/Dimagi team will support the Myanmar Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, and other partners to customize and deploy CommCare, an open source mobile platform that supports frontline workers in low-resource communities. Midwives will use CommCare to track and support their clients in a range of services including antenatal care, labor and delivery, essential newborn care, family planning, infant and child care, routine immunization, and nutrition.

In addition to supporting the MOH to deploy the CommCare application, the JSI team will also develop guidelines and materials that support implementation of this national initiative; demonstrate and evaluate CommCare use and “impact” through training and supervision for 5,000 midwives over the life of the project; build the capacity of the MOH and other implementing partners to scale-up the activity to roughly 11,000 midwives (national scale) and support quality assurance and monitoring and evaluation functions; and improve the capacity of the MOH to establish and host CommCare locally and modify the application as needed in the future.

Meet a JSI staff member who's on a mission to ensure CommCare is customized to meet midwives needs.