From the first days of Jhpiego’s Maternal and Neonatal Health Program, Jhpiego recognized that a key to the reduction of maternal deaths was skilled birth attendants’ achieving widespread competency in managing life-threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) is a set of lifesaving interventions that address each of the key causes of maternal mortality. EmONC has received global acceptance as the package of care necessary to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries, and Jhpiego played a vital role in turning global policy into evidence-based action.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) had defined the lifesaving interventions, the global community needed guidance on the management of complications. To this end, Jhpiego partnered with WHO to develop the manual Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth—A Guide for Midwives and Doctors (MCPC) to guide frontline service providers in the actual diagnosis and management of these complications. The MCPC has become the international standard for EmONC worldwide, is available on the WHO website and has been translated into more than 25 languages.
With the standard of care established, Jhpiego partnered with Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD), a global program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop an EmONC Learning Resource Package. This package includes all of the tools needed to conduct training and support development of competency in managing complications of pregnancy and childbirth. The package was developed in a modular format that could be used in pre-service (undergraduate) education and in-service training.
Individual country programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America have used the MCPC manual to develop program and clinical standards for managing and improving the quality of EmONC services. Every day, global and national programs and organizations around the world are using these advances in EmONC to save the lives of women during pregnancy and childbirth.