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Solving collective action challenges in urban communities to improve population health


Improve how cities manage maternal and newborn emergency referrals

In many urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa, a lack of trusted information and coordination in emergency referral systems negatively impacts the poor, especially pregnant women and newborns. Women with the most serious maternal complications often cannot receive timely and appropriate care due to system-wide inefficiencies in the use of a scarce resource - health facilities equipped to handle the most serious maternal and neonatal cases. 

We Asked: How might we empower pregnant women and their families to make more informed decisions about care seeking during labor and delivery? How might we support healthcare workers to know when and where to refer pregnant women during emergencies? How might we enable policy makers and health system managers maximize the use of scare resources across the health ecosystem to support maternal and newborn referrals?

Learn more about the challenge to improve maternal and newborn referrals


Managing maternal and newborn emergency referrals in Greater Accra

Health system managers in Greater Accra are confronted with the challenge of addressing a growing demand for maternal health services in the face of overcrowded referral hospitals. In 2015, the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate established a maternal and newborn call center to support Ghana's health facilities and staff improve the the management of delivery complications and the referral of patients that require higher-level, emergency care.


We are interested in exploring the use case for how a technology-based solution could strengthen call center management of maternal and newborn referrals and make it easier for women and families to make better informed decisions about care seeking during labor and delivery. 

Learn more about the impact of maternal referrals on Accra's Korle-Bu Hospital


Co-design an open source emergency referral management system

Pending the development of a full use case in Accra, we are exploring how other countries have used technology to support maternal and newborn referrals in urban settings. For example, the Government of Indonesia, with technical and financial support from USAID and its partners, built a maternal and newborn referral management system, Indonesia’s Sistem Informasi Jejaring Rujukan Maternal & Neonatal (SIJARIEMAS). We also are engaging communities of practice, such as Open Referral, to explore how data standards and open platforms can make it easy to share and find information about community resources. Our challenge is to build on best practice to support referral management during medical and public health emergencies. 

Learn more about SIJARIEMAS in Indonesia

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