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New Global Health Action supplement sharing MANIFEST findings


Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by UK aid.

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New Global Health Action supplement sharing MANIFEST findings

Future Health Systems

A new collection of research articles in the journal Global Health Action shares findings from the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Systems (MANIFEST) study in Uganda, led by the Makerere University School of Public Health in Kampala. The team, who are partners in Future Health Systems, used a participatory action research approach to engage different actors to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in the districts of Pallisa, Kibuku and Kamuli, in eastern Uganda.

Taking a systems lens to consider how numerous levels and partners dynamically interact to advance or stall maternal and newborn health, the MANIFEST team built on previous interventions that led to significant, if isolated, gains in community newborn health practices and facility deliveries.

MANIFEST’s blend of interventions comprised support for community outreach in the form of community health worker (CHW) home visits, coupled with community awareness (dialogues, radio) and community capacity strengthening (community savings and transport initiatives) to ensure that, with community support, mothers and families felt empowered to seek timely care. To ensure that this increased demand was met with quality services, MANIFEST also facilitated enabling environments for healthcare workers to respond through supportive supervision, clinical mentoring and participatory action research steered by local district health teams.

This collection of articles highlights the evidence and learning generated from the MANIFEST study, and identifies a number of implications for future efforts to strengthen maternal and newborn health, as well as considerations for further research.

Articles in the supplement:

You can also read a blog post about the work of MANIFEST written by UNICEF Chief of Health, Stefan Peterson.