‘Making pregnancy safer’– maternal near miss study results disseminated in Oman

News article 29 Oct 2018
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Dr Jamila Al Abri presenting the results from the maternal near miss study in Oman

Between October 2016 and September 2017, the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) conducted a study to introduce a national system to identify and review maternal ‘near miss’ cases in Oman. The results were disseminated at a conference in Oman in September 2018.

The event, Making Pregnancy Safer-Toward Maternal Near-miss Review, was organized by the Ministry of Health-Oman, in collaboration with CMNH, the World Health Organization and United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA). The conference was held under the auspices of H.E the Undersecretary of Health Affair - MOH in Oman and was attended by 115 participants including members of the National and Regional Maternal Mortality Review, obstetricians and midwives from across the country. The conference was attended also by international speakers and guests from the World Health Organization and UNFPA.

A maternal ‘near miss’ case is where a woman almost dies but survives a complication during pregnancy or childbirth. Reviewing maternal near miss cases can help to improve the quality of care and reduce the number of maternal deaths in a country.

During the first day of the conference, Dr Jamila Al Abri, the principle investigator of the study, and Professor Nynke van den Broek, Head of CMNH, presented a summary of the main findings, including the lessons to be learned and future recommendations to improve the quality of care. Dr Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Lecturer at CMNH also presented lessons learned from his experience of establishing Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in a number of countries across the world, as well as evidence from other countries including the UK.

During the second day of the conference, the three CMNH researchers facilitated group work, where participants were encouraged to use the study findings to develop an action plan to address the common causes of maternal near miss and maternal deaths. The plan also addressed how to sustain maternal death review and maternal near miss review in Oman.

Dr Tamima Al Dughashi, Senior Obstetrics Consultant in the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and the Chairman of Oman Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said, “The results of the study are very beneficial and useful for Oman and the country should take its results in consideration in future planning to strengthen maternity care”.

Dr Jamila Al Abri said, “The study was conducted in 23 hospitals across the country, representing both public and private hospitals. The medical notes of the identified cases were reviewed by experts to identify the underlying causes for these severe complications, associated factors that contributed to these events and the quality of care which the women received. These findings highlight areas of the health sector which need to be addressed to reduce both maternal morbidity and mortality”.

At the conference, both Dr Jamila Al Abri and Tamima Al Dughashi were interviewed by the Oman General TV, and their interviews were later included on the main news. You can access the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyeV4VQwVO0