Postnatal care in Rwanda

Recently published in Reproductive Health and the Journal of Global Health Reports, The East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative’s (PTBi-EA) study in Rwanda revealed that postnatal care (PNC) can contribute to reductions in morbidity and mortality in mothers and newborns through vital support that identifies danger signs and establishes valuable practices and referral processes. Qualitative data was collected to guide development of a group antenatal (ANC) and PNC model in the country. Importantly, guidelines were decided by members from the UCSF PTBi team along with members of the Rwandan community, creating a structure to complement their culture and the previous ANC and PNC mothers were receiving. The data provides evidence that PNC service delivery performed by community health workers in Rwanda, while initially not well understood, is both well accepted and appreciated by the population. The full package therefore has the potential to be well utilized and valued by the population.

“Discovery” Sparks Movement to Reduce Impact of Preterm Birth in East Africa

Nicole Santos, PhD, MS, manager of the East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative’s Discovery Research aim, says the program “builds capacity,” but that phrase is too modest. Truth is that PTBi-EA – and Discovery Research, in particular – is sparking a movement in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda aimed at defeating the stubborn global epidemic of preterm birth, the largest killer of children under five.

Consider Ugandan physician and researcher Mary Kakuru Muhindo, MBChB. Her Discovery Research-backed pilot study has given her a new and fruitful research direction, connected her with a global community of preterm birth researchers – and spawned care improvements at one hospital, which she expects to see spread to many other low-resource health care settings.

Read the full story

Stories of Kangaroo Mother Care

From the Daily Nation by Stanley Kimuge

Edith Nafula, 38, had been waiting for three years to get pregnant. When she did in 2015, she had no idea that it would mark the genesis of her struggles. Her excitement was cut short, when the baby was born prematurely (one week before term) and died.

Doctors at the Webuye County Hospital said it was because of high blood pressure.

Back home, her husband and his relatives became hostile. She got pregnant again last year, but at 26 weeks, she developed complications. At 27 weeks (on November 9), she went into labour early, due to high blood pressure, and delivered through C-section at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

Her baby weighed 600grammes and was placed in an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit. She named her Testimony, a reminder that anyone can overcome the harrowing experience.

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Preterm Birth Symposium 2018

Through the Lens of Quality, Equity and Dignity
October 2-4, 2018
Kigali Marriott Hotel, KN 3 Avenue
Kigali, Rwanda

In 2017, the World Health Organization launched Quality Equity Dignity: A Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health which includes 10 countries with the goal to halve maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths in health facilities within 5 years. The Network has proposed standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn care at facilities based on the WHO framework for quality which includes both the provision and experience of care.

The 2018 Preterm Birth Initiative Symposium will explore what quality, equity and dignity mean in the context of preterm birth. We will facilitate cross-collaboration between the East African and California arms of the PTBi and convene East African partners and stakeholders to explore topics such as respectful maternity care, interventions for improving quality of care, collaboration to leverage knowledge into power and quality improvements through translational research.

Attendance is by invitation only.

Speakers include:

Diane Gashumba
Rwanda Minister of Health

Alex Coutinho
UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative Strategic Advisory Board
Former Executive Director of Inshuti Mu Buzima

Manpreet Singh
Global Development Fellow
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Karen Walter
Founding President and current Vice President
Council of International Neonatal Nurses

Wilson Milton Were
Medical Officer, Child Health Services
Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Department
World Health Organization

Group Antenatal Care in Rwanda: A Master Trainer’s Perspective

Group Care PhotoBy: Tiffany Lundeen, University of California, San Francisco, East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative ; Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, University of California, San Francisco, East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative

In 2017, the East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-EA) in Rwanda—a partnership among the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Rwanda, the Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Biomedical Center—launched the largest cluster randomized controlled trial ever conducted on group antenatal care. Results are expected in 2019.In the following interview, Tiffany Lundeen, a midwife on the Preterm Birth Initiative-Rwanda team based at the University of California, San Francisco who led the group care model development process, speaks with Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, a Rwandan midwife who serves as a master trainer of group care facilitators, about her observations of group care. Read the Post

2018 Program Update

2018 Program UpdateOur 2018 Program Update details the vital work of our teams in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and at UCSF. Through the collaboration of these four teams and the leadership of principal investigators Phelgona Otieno in Kenya, Sabine Musange in Rwanda, and Peter Waiswa in Uganda, we are saving lives by improving care for newborns and mothers. We are also supporting discovery research that investigates factors contributing to preterm birth while training the next generation of preterm birth researchers through our Transdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship. Read the Update

Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies Photo Story

In fall 2017, the East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-EA) began collecting tiny hats for tiny babies in East Africa. Then early this spring, members of the PTBi-EA teams began delivering the hats to mothers and babies at hospitals and health centers. View the story

Kangaroo Care Photo Story

Kangaroo Care Photo StoryOn International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day each May 15th, we honor the power of this life-saving intervention. Low-tech and high-touch, kangaroo care (KC) is perfectly suited for preterm babies in low-resource settings. Wrapped skin-to-skin against the chests of their mothers or other family members – tiny babies, so vulnerable to hypothermia, are kept warm. KC facilitates bonding, helps babies regulate their respiration, and promotes breastfeeding. View the Story

PTBi-East Africa 2016: A Year in Review

Year in ReviewLearn more about PTBi-EA's work in our 2016: A Year in Review. Read the Review

PTBi-East Africa Donates Life-Saving Equipment to Uganda Hospitals

Left to right: Kamuli Mission hospital director Dr Emmanual Kawanguzi, Iganga General Hospital director Dr Waako James, Kamuli General Hospital director Dr Waako Charles, Jinja hospital deputy director Dr Dan Balina Nseko and Lead researcher of Preterm Birth initiative study Peter Waiswa during the handover of the items at Jinja Hospital. PHOTO BY TAUSI NAKATO
Makerere University School of Public Health in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, has donated equipment estimated at Shs155m to six hospitals in Busoga sub-region. Read the Story