July 02, 2012
In the midst of our focus on innovation, we pause to take a moment to recognize and reflect the stark realities faced by midwives in low-resource settings. Some areas have access to basic equipment needs, and are innovating in the technology realm: designing lower cost, solar-powered lights, power and blood banks. But in many places the challenge is making do with an indescribable shortage. Our advisor, Dorcas Kamanda, reminded us that in Sierra Leone she teaches women to take a piece of a plant to tie the umbilical cord because string is simply not available.
June 14, 2012
Atul Gawande is widely known for his bestselling book called [The Checklist Manifesto](http://gawande.com/the-checklist-manifesto) where he documents the essential role of checklists in ensuring consistency and adherence to evidence based protocols. The Safe Motherhood Community, then, is lucky that his team has turned their attention to safer births in the BetterBirth clinicial trial and collaboration on the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist.
May 29, 2012
[The Parenting map](http://donate.projecthope.org/site/DocServer/Project_HOPE_Parenting_Map_-_April_2009.pdf?docID=250) developed by Project HOPE is like a visual checklist for each child in a household. The checklist was developed as a low-literacy tool for use by volunteer health workers visiting households and assessing the well-being of multiple children. The purpose of the tool is to determine which areas are going well and which areas need improvement. The initial studies in Namibia and Mozambique report that the checklist was well-accepted by caregivers and
May 21, 2012
At the #HealthFOO unconference this past weekend, one presentation officially blew my mind. For an organization that studies technology, it's important to remember that often simply NOT acting is actually in the patient's interest. For example, one of my first conversations was with Paul Levy, former CEO of Beth Israel Hospital. He told me about a intervention by [Intermountain Health in Utah to reduce the number of c-sections before 39 weeks](http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2011/12/early-terms-news-arrives-late-in-ma.html). Essentially they put in place a protocol to prevent c-sections before 39 weeks unless absolutely medically necessary, and due to this additional waiting time reduced costs and improved health.
May 15, 2012
Millennium Development Goal 5 sets out to [“Improve Maternal Health”](http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/maternal.shtml) by 2015. To track progress on this target, researchers rely on maternal mortality ratios and rates of skilled birth attendance as indicators.