PAHO Launches Mission in Dominica to Enhance Maternal and Perinatal Health Systems

Consultants review documents at a clinic in Dominica

Roseau, Dominica, May 21, 2024 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has commenced a vital mission in Dominica to review and enhance the country's maternal and perinatal health systems. This four-day mission, led by two distinguished experts in the field, underscores PAHO's ongoing commitment to supporting Dominica in strengthening its health system and improving maternal health outcomes.

Dr. Gillian Birchwood, a pediatrician with the Ministry of Health in Barbados, and Dr. Lucilla Charles, an obstetrician-gynecologist with the Ministry of Health in St. Lucia, are the PAHO-hired Temporary Advisors spearheading this mission. Their extensive expertise and dedication to maternal and perinatal health will be instrumental in conducting a thorough audit and providing actionable recommendations.

The primary focus of this mission is to conduct an audit of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) system in Dominica. MPDSR is a crucial approach for enhancing the quality of care in maternal and neonatal health. It plays a significant role in evidence-based advocacy, policy formulation, planning, service delivery, and accountability, all of which are essential for making strides toward ending preventable maternal and neonatal mortality.

Conducting this MPDSR audit based on the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO) is a pivotal component of PAHO's strategy to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality rates in the Region. The findings from this audit will inform targeted interventions aimed at addressing the root causes of maternal and neonatal deaths, ultimately leading to improved healthcare outcomes.

PAHO’s support for Dominica in this endeavor highlights our commitment to enhancing health systems across the region. By focusing on maternal and perinatal health, we aim to build a robust healthcare framework that can sustainably improve the health and well-being of mothers and newborns.

The Honorable Cassanni Laville, Minister of Health, Wellness and Social Services met with the visiting team at the start of the Mission. He expressed “I am very pleased for the support from PAHO for this mission. This work will assess our systems and provide a set of recommendations for the implementation of effective strategies to prevent future deaths and improve the overall quality of maternal and neonatal care in Dominica. I warmly welcome the visiting team and thank PAHO for their support to the Government and the people of Dominica.”