Evaluation of project to improve obstetric and newborn care in Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Despite improvements in healthcare, disadvantages persist among rural, less educated, and indigenous populations in Ecuador. The USAID-funded, CHS-managed Cotopaxi Child Survival Grant created a provincial-level network of health services that included community agents to improve access, quality, and coordination of essential obstetric and newborn care.
The 21 poorest parishes in Cotopaxi Province were targeted for a collaborative health system performance improvement intervention that provided traditional birth attendants with formal supervision, community outreach and education, and health worker technical training.
Extensive data were collected to evaluate improvements in participating facilities; statistically significant improvements in service delivery occurred. Women who received a postnatal visit within the first two days after delivery went from 53% to 81%, and women who received postpartum counseling went from 70% to 90%. The project increased community and facility care quality and improved mothers’ health knowledge. The facilities also experienced a continual reduction in newborn mortality.
The project established a comprehensive and coordinated provincial-level network of health services and strengthened links between community, primary, and hospital healthcare. This improved access to essential obstetric and neonatal care and its quality, use, and provision for neonatal survival. Based on these findings, Ecuador’s Ministry of Health is scaling up the model nationally.
Read the complete evaluation article, “Evaluation of an Intervention to Improve Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care Access and Quality in Cotopaxi, Ecuador” in Frontiers in Public Health.