Saving Malawi mothers’ lives from maternal sepsis
Sepsis is a life-threatening response to infection and is one of the biggest killers of mothers worldwide. We will work with doctors, midwives, communities and policy makers in Malawi to improve the prevention, recognition and treatment of sepsis in order to reduce maternal mortality in Malawi.
January 2017 - December 2017
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by infection. Our work in Malawi has shown that women are dying unnecessarily because systems are not in place to identify and treat sepsis quickly and effectively. We know from other countries that survival can be doubled if the right care is delivered early. We have developed a package of care suitable to treat maternal sepsis in Malawi. This now needs to be carefully tested in key pilot sites in Malawi before it can be rolled out country-wide.
During phase 1 of this project, following in-depth research, involvement of a wide panel of experts, in-country consultation with patients, healthcare workers and the Malawi ministry of health, we have led the development of a care package to combat life-threatening maternal sepsis in Malawi. We are now seeking to pilot this system in three hospitals and 12 health centres. This project will provide the training and resources to better identify and treat sepsis, ultimately saving mothers’ lives.
To roll out, test and improve the maternal sepsis care package in one pilot site in Malawi.
Activities» To recruit a sepsis specialist project midwife for one year to coordinate the pilot activities in one pilot site in Malawi.
Success will be thorough testing work carried out on time, with the full input of all partners, to enable the next phase to take place as planned.
To train and provide resources to healthcare workers to treat sepsis in one pilot site in Malawi.
Activities» On-site training and education in delivery of sepsis care package for sepsis specialist midwife and other healthcare workers.
» Provision of equipment and resources for sepsis identification and treatment.
» Evaluation of pilot activities at key dates during the year.
» Work with the ministry of health and Higher Education institutions to integrate the new sepsis care package into national guidelines and education.
Success will be positive feedback from pilot site staff in Malawi who have completed training and are testing and improving the care package to save lives.
If the maternal sepsis care package is found to be effective in eventual clinical trials, we anticipate wide-scale adoption in Malawi initially, then potentially worldwide as part of the World Health Organisation Maternal Sepsis programme. The impact of the pilot study will be to provide resources and training to healthcare workers in Malawi. The success of these changes will be demonstrated by a significant and sustained improvement in quality of sepsis care after project implementation.
Risk: Unavailability of healthcare workers and researchers in key pilot sites in Malawi to test and improve the sepsis care package. Mitigation: There is a strong global maternal health research group based at the University of Birmingham with an active research network of academics and local healthcare teams in Malawi. Risk: The care package will be ineffective. Mitigation: Rigorous evaluation at each stage will ensure it is optimised so we can be confident that the intervention is effective
Ammalife has an excellent track record of providing timely, informative and accurate feedback to donors. We will provide regular feedback on our progress. Information will also be published on our website www.ammalife.org and via our social media www.facebook.com/ammalife, www.twitter.com/ammalife.
Budget - Project Cost: £12,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £6,960 Activity 1.1 To recruit a sepsis specialist project midwife for one year to coordinate the pilot activities £1,060 Activity 2.1 On-site training and education in delivery of sepsis care package £2,480 Activity 2.2 Provision of equipment and resources for sepsis identification and treatment. £900 Activity 2.3 Evaluation of pilot activities at key dates during the year. £600 Activity 2.4 Work with the Malawi institutions to integrate the new sepsis care package into national guidelines
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Ammalife regular giving (standing orders from individuals) £6,000 Guaranteed
We plan to test and improve the maternal sepsis care package in three hospitals and 12 health centres in Malawi, a country where there are currently 510 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. From our base at Ammalife’s Academic Department at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, we will work closely with the global maternal health research group based at the University of Birmingham which has an active research network of academics and experts and local teams based in Malawi.
Women in low-income countries who develop maternal sepsis will benefit from this project as they will gain access to an effective care package which has the potential to save their lives. Few babies survive the deaths of their mothers in such contexts which is why saving mothers will also save their children. Health professionals on the ground will also benefit as they will be equipped with robust and practical guidance on which to base their care of women with pregnancy-related sepsis.
Ammalife is a specialist, research-driven organisation committed to tackling obstacles to good maternal health in the poorest parts of the world. We work closely with the global maternal health research group based at the University of Birmingham which has an active research network of academics and local teams based in Malawi. Dr David Lissauer, a member of Ammalife’s Executive Board with experience of running a major global maternal sepsis trial, is leading this project.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Professor Arri Coomarasamy
Consultant Gynaecologist. Leads global maternal health portfolio at the School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham (UoB).
Dr David Lissauer
Clinical lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UoB. Leads a major global maternal health trial to reduce miscarriage surgery-related infection.
will pay for a specialist sepsis midwife for a day to improve the care of women with sepsis.
“I think it will be fantastic. At the moment the challenges are the absence of clear guidance and delayed initiation of treatment. The care package is a critical development and because it has involved people on the ground, they feel part of the process and will own it and make sure it happens.”