Improving newborn health through perinatal audit

12 June 2017

Technical meeting on integrating the perinatal audit into the healthcare system in Turkmenistan was held from 5-9 June.  The Ministry of Health and Medical Industry co-led the meeting in partnership with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund and UNICEF, United Nations Children’s Fund. 

Two international experts Dr. Alla Curteanu and Dr. Viktor Petrov facilitated the five-day meeting on methodology of the perinatal audit with ultimate purpose of piloting the audit in five etraps (districts) of Mary and Dashoguz velayats (regions).  The working meeting focused on adapting the World Health Organization methodology on perinatal audit to the national context based on specific issues and demands from the field.

Perinatal audit will help analyze the stillbirths and newborn deaths in a confidential manner to focus on causes rather than individual faults in order to identify the lessons learned and address the repetitive errors.  The aim of the audit is to identify the necessary measures to prevent future neonatal deaths, and to be able to make comparisons within and between different institutions for increasing effectiveness of services on national level. The methodology of audit is not new for the healthcare specialists, as UNFPA has recently supported piloting of the audit of near-miss cases, where a woman develops a life-threatening complication during pregnancy.

UNFPA continues to partner with the Ministry and health care specialists in improving the quality of maternal and newborn services. The government endorsed the National Strategy on Improvement of Maternal, Newborn, Adolescent and Child health for 2015-2019, developed with joint support of UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO.  The improvement of perinatal services and specifically neonatal healthcare services is an important focus area of the Strategy.
Reducing the level of infant mortality primarily involves improving the quality of specialized care during pregnancy and childbirth, including an increased access of women to quality services and effective referral system even in remote areas.  Therefore, the Ministry adopted the Order #166 on Regionalization, which classifies the maternities countrywide into three levels of care with designated set of services, human resources, medications and equipment for each level.  That not only increased the efficiency of Government investments but also improved the effectiveness of maternal and newborn health services. 

“Despite considerable improvements in the area of maternal health, the newborn health continues to require attention from the United Nations agencies to support Government efforts.  In this regard, we appreciate our cooperation with UNICEF,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative.  “UNFPA will continue to partner with the Ministry in creating a sustainable and equitable delivery of high quality perinatal health services in all parts of the country.”
For additional information, please contact:

Kemal Goshliyev, Reproductive Health NPO

Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate

Tel: 488324