Technical Expertise: Health Systems Strengthening, Infectious Diseases, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Over a year after the first recorded case in March 2014, Guinea continues to see new cases of Ebola. Guinea has been disproportionately affected, suffering a higher mortality rate (66%) and more sustained epidemic than both Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Health experts have been concerned that other critical health issues as well as routine care for maternal and child health might go unattended due to closure of clinics, patients avoiding facilities for fear of contracting Ebola, or patients with Ebola-like symptoms being turned away.
Reports showed large drops in several RMNCH indicators, such as number of women giving birth in a facility with a skilled birth attendant and the rate of new and returning contraceptive users.
With such reports, it was assumed that levels of service delivery for routine reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) care had fallen precipitously during the Ebola epidemic, but there were no data on service utilization available to measure the extent to which this was true or to inform planning and resource allocation in response.
To address this need, USAID/Guinea requested that MEASURE Evaluation conduct a rapid assessment on RMNCH health service utilization and service delivery. The goal was to better understand the effects of Ebola on delivery and utilization of routine RMNCH services, rather than to make recommendations going forward. Its design purposefully accommodated a need to expediently provide essential information to guide health sector decision making among government and donor stakeholders.
The assessment required collecting data on 18 RMNCH indicators from public health facilities and reference hospitals over the course of 15 months as well as interviewing health providers, heads of both public and private health facilities, district officers, and traditional healers.
JSI’s Senior Health Information Systems Specialist with MEASURE Evaluation traveled to Guinea and highlighted this work in Guinea and preliminary results in his blog on The Pump. He shares his perspectives on priorities for fighting Ebola in this video, available in English and French and also available at EbolaWatch.net.
Learn more about JSI's work through the MEASURE Evaluation project, implemented through a partnership led by the University of North Carolina.