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Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi (IMCHA)

Malawi has high rates of maternal mortality despite concerted efforts to increase the rate of births at health facilities. In response, the Ministry of Health implemented a Standards-Based Management and Recognition for Reproductive Health initiative to improve the quality of health services. Similar initiatives have proven successful in other countries. However, to date, only limited improvements have been observed in Malawi, and no improvements were noted in the quality of care during labour and delivery.

This project will further assess the implementation of this initiative and its impact on the quality of maternal health care in Malawi. The researchers will look at the context on the ground and how it has impacted implementation. Their aim is to provide the Ministry of Health with information and recommendations to improve the quality of and access to care. A particular focus of the study will be on women's experiences of care.

Researchers will produce knowledge in conjunction with key stakeholders, including the public and policymakers, to make recommendations for the implementation of the Standards-Based Management and Recognition for Reproductive Health initiative in Malawi. Research findings will be presented at strategic forums in the country as well as at conferences. The information will also be published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, the study will promote knowledge and skills transfer between Canada and Malawi.

This project is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative (2014-2020), a seven-year, $CA36 million multi-donor partnership funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada's International Development Research Centre.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
54 months
IDRC Officer
Nafissatou Diop
Total Funding
CA$ 999,632.00
Global Health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Ellen Dr. Chirwa
Amref Health Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Zubia Dr. Mumtaz
The Governors of The University of Alberta