Malawi Medical Journal

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An evidence-based policy brief: improving the quality of postnatal care in mothers 48 hours after childbirth

Betty Sakala


Malawi is experiencing slow progress in postnatal care of mothers within the first 48 hours after childbirth. Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) 2015-16 reported a slow progress in postnatal care of mothers in the first 48 hours at 42% from 41% in 2010 despite a high number of institutional births. This is a critical period as a large proportion of maternal deaths occur during this period, currently at 439 per 100,000 live births. During postnatal care the mother is given important information to assist in caring for herself and her baby. The lack of well documented guidelines and funding to employ more midwives to manage mothers in postnatal ward contributes to poor quality of postnatal care.
This is an evidence-based policy brief that was prepared to inform policy makers, health workers, clients, community and other stakeholders to consider the available evidence about the impact of the suggested options in order to improve postnatal care.
Several factors that contribute to low utilization of postnatal care among mothers after childbirth were identified. Factors included lack of clear guidelines on postnatal care, shortage of skilled health workers and inadequate resources.
Implementation of the identified policy options may improve postnatal care.
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