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Women Birth ; 35(4): 378-386, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401932


BACKGROUND: Significant adjustments to maternity care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the direct impacts of COVID-19 can compromise the quality of maternal and newborn care. AIM: To explore how the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected frontline health workers' ability to provide respectful maternity care globally. METHODS: We conducted a global online survey of health workers to assess the provision of maternal and newborn healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. We collected qualitative data between July and December 2020 among a subset of respondents and conducted a qualitative content analysis to explore open-ended responses. FINDINGS: Health workers (n = 1127) from 71 countries participated; and 120 participants from 33 countries provided qualitative data. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the provision of respectful maternity care in multiple ways. Six central themes were identified: less family involvement, reduced emotional and physical support for women, compromised standards of care, increased exposure to medically unjustified caesarean section, and staff overwhelmed by rapidly changing guidelines and enhanced infection prevention measures. Further, respectful care provided to women and newborns with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection was severely affected due to health workers' fear of getting infected and measures taken to minimise COVID-19 transmission. DISCUSSION: Multidimensional and contextually-adapted actions are urgently needed to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision and continued promotion of respectful maternity care globally in the long-term. CONCLUSIONS: The measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic had the capacity to disrupt the provision of respectful maternity care and therefore the quality of maternity care.

COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cesarean Section , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Surveys and Questionnaires
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(7): e436-e443, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294388


The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agenda calls for health data to be disaggregated by age. However, age groupings used to record and report health data vary greatly, hindering the harmonisation, comparability, and usefulness of these data, within and across countries. This variability has become especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was an urgent need for rapid cross-country analyses of epidemiological patterns by age to direct public health action, but such analyses were limited by the lack of standard age categories. In this Personal View, we propose a recommended set of age groupings to address this issue. These groupings are informed by age-specific patterns of morbidity, mortality, and health risks, and by opportunities for prevention and disease intervention. We recommend age groupings of 5 years for all health data, except for those younger than 5 years, during which time there are rapid biological and physiological changes that justify a finer disaggregation. Although the focus of this Personal View is on the standardisation of the analysis and display of age groups, we also outline the challenges faced in collecting data on exact age, especially for health facilities and surveillance data. The proposed age disaggregation should facilitate targeted, age-specific policies and actions for health care and disease management.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child, Preschool , Humans , Morbidity , Sustainable Development