Members of Population Council’s maternal and newborn health team, including Ending Eclampsia researchers, traveled to Vancouver to participate in the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver on November 14-18, 2016. Hosting two satellite sessions and two poster presentations, the Council focused on health systems resilience.
The first presentation showed that integrated health services and systems contribute to building resilient health systems, with Charlotte Warren presenting on learnings from the Integra Initiative, which integrated HIV and sexual reproductive health in postpartum settings in Kenya and Swaziland. Another session focused on working within existing systems to overcome social, cultural, economic, political, gender, and trust barriers that inhibit quality maternal and reproductive health care.
Engaging lively discussion from audience members, Timothy Abuya spoke about provider perspectives of a set of respectful maternity care interventions in Kenya, and Pooja Sripad presented on community perspectives on trust building in maternity care and the use of social accountability to promote responsiveness. Charlotte Warren talked about Bangladeshi and Pakistani women’s narratives on myths, misconceptions, and cultural beliefs that deter them from seeking care for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
Posters presentations at the marketplace included “Trust-building in maternity care through empowerment and communicative action: qualitative exploration amidst Kenya’s policy transition” (Pooja Sripad) and “Measuring the prevalence of disrespect and abuse along the birthing process: implications for developing and measuring interventions” (Timothy Abuya).
As part of the team’s participation at the symposium, the Population Council booth featured the Ending Eclampsia banner, as well as other project materials that highlight the work we’ve done so far under the landscape analyses. Our dynamic project name, prominently displayed at the booth, drew in many interested attendees who were eager to hear just how we plan to “End Eclampsia.” Interest in our eclampsia work was very high and we took part in impassioned and exciting discussions with colleagues from around the globe. The resounding message of these discussions was the importance of providing support to the health providers so that they can provide quality preventive care, accurate diagnosis, and appropriate management for all hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.