Advocacy & Health Policy: 2017 Updates from ACOG's Office of Global Women's Health

With several programs finishing their initial activities, ACOG’s Office of Global Women’s Health (OGWH) is working to renew many of its popular 2017 programs. Below is a snapshot of what OGWH has been up to in 2017.

Multi-Phase Structured Operative Obstetrics Training in Uganda

ACOG has been working in Kampala, Uganda to implement Structured Operative Obstetrics training to improve the management, technical, and surgical skills needed to perform Cesarean deliveries and other obstetrical procedures.

The trainings are held at two universities in Kampala: Mulago Hospital, Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

In the first year of implementation, ACOG trained 36 instructors and 37 providers (residents and interns). In 2017, 125 providers (residents and interns) and 62 instructors have been trained.

Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) URC Zika-project

ACOG has provided support to the Zika-related activities implemented by the ASSIST project through clinical skills training and medical education in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador Guatemala, and Honduras. ACOG’s role is to strengthen the capacity of health services to provide evidence-based interventions for the prevention and management of Zika infections.

Activities include bi-monthly webinars, virtual training, a conference, and advising on country guidelines and technical materials. ACOG has reached over 250 health care providers with each webinar.

Approximately 1,000 health care providers will have received rapid-response training on Zika through virtual tutoring, and Zika guidelines are being produced in countries where there were no guidelines.

ACOG-Baylor Malawi Multi-Disciplinary Team Quality Improvement Program

The ACOG pilot project in Malawi to implement the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM) safety bundles has been very successful. The program, headed by Joseph Sclafani, MD, a Baylor College of Medicine professor at the Kazmuzu Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, has reduced maternal mortality in Malawi—the 13th highest in the world—and improved their quality of care.

AIM Malawi participants were trained in emergency leadership, communication skills, and obstetric hemorrhage protocol. Nursing staff and clinical officers received training in the placement of uterine balloon catheters, nonpneumatic shock garments, and other life saving measures. Hospital housekeepers, nurses’ aides, and ambulance drivers are sometimes incorporated into the emergency team.

This year, 135 staff was trained in AIM team communication and obstetric hemorrhage bundles, and materials on postpartum hemorrhage readiness, recognition, and response were co-developed and put into use.

Between November 2016 and May 2017, no maternal deaths from obstetric hemorrhage were documented at Area 25, an amazing accomplishment.

The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) Collaboration

As the first year wraps up, ACOG and ESOG are looking forward to year two of the collaboration. This year’s accomplishments include collaboration on continuing medical education (CME), residency education and programs, certification and accreditation exams for ob-gyn residency programs, and the revitalization of the Ethiopian Journal of Reproductive Health (EJRH).

ACOG Fellows provided training to the ESOG residency team on strengthening the residency training of ob-gyns in Ethiopia. ACOG Fellows conducted a CME Training of Trainers in Addis Ababa on management and technical aspects of a CME program including types of CME, credit allocation and assessment, selection of CME topics, and faculty. ACOG staff also provided trainings on journal management and scientific writing and research to develop the capacity of the EJRH.

The American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Program

During 2017 and 2018, the AI/AN program will focus on the North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Billings, Montana area. The AI/AN Committee performed site visits in four hospitals in these areas.

The AI/AN program also held a best practices in women’s health education training in August, with 60 attendees. Best Practices in Women’s Health: Focus on American Indian/Alaska Native Women’s Health was a four-day conference held in Salt Lake City, UT. The program included a buprenorphine waiver training, Behavioral Health Day, women’s health update, and advanced life support in obstetrics certification.

The Martin-Peterson Fellowship and the International Service Award

The Office of Global Health will also be administering two awards this year—the Martin-Peterson Fellowship and the International Service Award.

The purpose of the Martin-Peterson Fellowship Award is to expose the recipient to ACOG and all its resources. The award recognizes an outstanding ob-gyn from a low or middle income country currently practicing in the United States under the auspices of a formal hospital or university program. Building bridges between ACOG and ob-gyns throughout the world community at an early stage in their careers benefits both ACOG and the award recipient. 

The International Service Award serves to recognize and extend sincere gratitude to an ACOG Fellow who has worked for the betterment of maternal and child health, women’s empowerment, and gender equality in an international setting.

To learn more, visit ACOG’s Office of Global Women’s Health webpage

If you'd like to get involved with an OGWH program, visit the OGWH Resource Center

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998