Originally posted on the CCBRT blog

At the end of last year, CCBRT hosted a ceremony to recognize the top performing maternal and newborn health facilities in Dar es Salaam.

CCBRT’s Maternal and Newborn Healthcare Capacity Building Program coordinates a lot of activities: coaching, mentoring and training of health professionals; delivering life saving equipment and supplies to maternity wards; working with hospital management teams to identify problems and find solutions; and so on. But if you ask Manager and Technical Advisor, Dr. Brenda D’mello, about the program’s most unique feature? “Efforts to recognize the extraordinarily hardworking doctors and nurses on the front-line,” she says.

“In order to measure progress in quality of care, we use a tool called SBMR (Standards-Based Management and Recognition). Our program – particularly the ultrasound initiative – truly puts the ‘R’ in ‘SBMR,’” Dr. Brenda explains.

Indeed, last November CCBRT hosted a ceremony to recognize the top performing maternal and newborn health facilities in Dar es Salaam. The ten facilities that received the highest marks in CCBRT’s composite score – measuring everything from target delivery numbers to inclusion of women with disabilities – were awarded ultrasound machines from the Honorable Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam.

This “competition” motivated facilities to improve their services for mothers and babies. As one hospital in-charge stated at the ceremony: “Everyone is working very hard and everyone wants to work as hard as they can. Recognition drives us to move forward and brings us to excellence. As Dr. Brenda always says, ‘even a small thing you can do for a health worker will mean everything to them’.” Dr. Brenda sees recognition of healthcare workers as a crucial component of Respectful Maternity Care, describing it as “care for the caregiver.”

Individual healthcare workers were also recognized for excellence in performance. 81 nurses scored above 80% in performance assessments, meeting recognition criteria. Notably, 26 of these nurses scored 100%! CCBRT’s capacity building team is proud of the sites’ accomplishments and incredible progress in the past seven years. In total, average scores on quality of care assessments have increased from 10% in 2010 to 82% in 2017 – leading to a 40% reduction in maternal deaths and 14% reduction in stillbirths.