Improving maternal and child health in a low-resource, ethnic minority

The aim of this Save the Children funded project is to examine barriers to delivery and uptake of maternal and newborn (MNH) health services in a low-resource, ethnic minority county in the Sichuan province, China, to inform Save the Children’s programmes in similar settings.

View of mountain village in Sichuan Province

View of mountain village in Sichuan Province

The rationale is to generate an understanding of how the local maternal and newborn health system has evolved over the past fifteen years through qualitative interviews with stakeholders at every level, including government officials, hospital administrators, clinical staff, public health workers and service users. The study has a strong focus on the perspectives and experiences of ethnic minority women, since the needs of this group are poorly understood, and their low education and income makes them particularly vulnerable.

Research team in village household

Research team in village household

The project team consists of experienced health economists, health systems experts, qualitative scientists, and epidemiologists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and the School of Public Health at Sichuan University. In May 2016, this team conducted three weeks of fieldwork, completing more than 50 qualitative interviews and focus-groups.

The expected outcomes are:

  • A series of articles published in high impact peer-reviewed journals.
  • A summary report for Save the Children proposing strategies for their work in similar settings.
  • A dissemination workshop with key health system stakeholders from the provincial, prefectural, and county level in Chengdu.

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