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Are Much Needed Health Interventions Reaching Women And Children Across The Developing World?

Measuring coverage of maternal, newborn and child health in low- and middle-income countries is critical to ensuring that health interventions are reaching the women and children who need them most, says a new Collection of articles published by PLOS this week. Accurate measurement of the effectiveness of those interventions for combatting diseases such as pneumonia and malaria, and preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child, is also essential.

Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, a sponsored PLOS Collection published today in PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE with support from the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG), presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. CHERG was established in 2001 and serves as an independent source of technical expertise to WHO and UNICEF on maternal and child morbidity and mortality estimates at global and country levels.

The Collection of original research articles and reviews shows that while some coverage indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys such as USAID’s Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

The Collection explores issues around measurement using household surveys assessment of health inequalities, consideration of survey error, and the generation of indicators for global monitoring. It presents recommendations for transforming the findings of these and previous studies into better measurement, reporting, and interpretation of coverage estimates.

Original research includes evaluating the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in four African countries with estimates of community coverage for this indicator; establishing whether mothers and caregivers can accurately recall diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia in Pakistan and Bangladesh; and measuring the coverage of treatment for malaria in Zambia. Other research looks at interventions delivered in pregnancy and during the time of delivery in Africa, Latin America, and China, including recall of emergency Cesarean section, an important metric in maternity care. Review articles summarise the challenges of measuring coverage for a wide variety of indicators with validity and reliability, including those relating to immediate newborn care, childhood vaccinations, severity and treatment of diarrhea, and community case management.



LINK TO THE FREELY-AVAILABLE TEXTS: http://www.ploscollections.org/measuringcoverageinmnch

Measuring Coverage – Maternal and Newborn Health:
Research: Population HIV-free survival among children under 2 years of age in 4 African countries
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001424
Stringer J, Stinson K, Tih PM, Giganti M, Ekouevi D, Creek TL, Welty TK, Chi BH, Wilfert C, Shaffer N, Stringer EM, Dabis F, Coetzee D
Research: Testing the validity of women’s self-report of key maternal and newborn health Interventions during the peripartum period in Mozambique
PLOS ONE: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0060694
Stanton CK, Rawlins B, Drake M, Anjos M, Cantor D, Chongo L, Chavane L, Vaz ML, Ricca J
Research: Validating women’s self-report of emergency Cesarean sections in Ghana and the Dominican Republic
PLOS ONE: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0060761
Tunçalp Ö, Stanton C, Castro A, Adanu RK, Heymann M, Adu-Bonsaffoh K, Lattof SR, Blanc A, Langer A
Research: A validation study linking population survey derived coverage to maternal, newborn and child health care records in rural China
PLOS ONE: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0060762
Liu L, Li M, Yang L, Ju L, Tan B, Walker N, Bryce J, Campbell H, Black RE, Guo Y
Review: Indicators for Global Tracking of Newborn Care
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001415
Moran A, Kerber K, Sitrin D, Guenther T, Morrissey CS, Newby H, Fishel J, Yoder PS, Hill Z, Lawn JE

Measuring Coverage – Child Health
Research: A prospective validation study in Pakistan and Bangladesh on measuring correct treatment of childhood pneumonia
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001422
Hazir T, Begum K, El Arifeen S, Khan AM, Huque MH, Kazmi N, Roy S, Abbasi S, Rahman QS, Theodoratou E, Khorshed MS, Rahman KM, Bari S, Kaisar MMI, Saha SK, Nawshad Uddin Ahmed ASM, Rudan I, Bryce J, Qazi SA, Campbell H
Research: Accuracy of measuring diagnosis and treatment of childhood malaria from household surveys in Zambia
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001417
Eisele T, Silumbe K, Yukich J, Hamainza B, Keating J, Bennett A, Miller J
Review: Challenges in monitoring the proportion of young children with pneumonia who receive antibiotic treatment
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001421
Campbell H, El Arifeen S, Hazir T, O’Kelly JRH, Bryce J, Rudan I, Qazi S
Review: Design, Implementation and Interpretation Challenges Associated with Tracking Vaccination Coverage Using Household Surveys
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001404
Cutts FT, Izurieta H, Rhoda DA
Review: Current indicators for measuring coverage of diarrhea treatment interventions and opportunities for improvement
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001385
Fischer Walker CL, Fontaine O, Black R

Measuring Coverage – Methodology
Review: Tracking progress in health for women and children using DHS and MICS household surveys
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001391 Hancioglu A, Arnold F
Review: Determining and interpreting inequalities in coverage of maternal, newborn and child health interventions
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001390
Barros AJD, Victora CG
Review: Total survey error and the interpretation of intervention coverage estimates from household surveys
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001386
Eisele T, Rhoda DA, Cutts FT, Keating J, Ren R, Barros AJD, Arnold F
Review: Evaluation of community-based treatment of childhood illnesses through household surveys
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001384
Hazel E, Requejo J, David J, Bryce J
Review: The challenges and opportunities of global monitoring
PLOS Medicine: published 7 May 2013 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001416
Requejo J, Newby H, Bryce J

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