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Objective: This study describes the process of production, findings for a policy brief on Increasing Access to Skilled Birth Attendance, and subsequent use of the report by policy makers and others from the health sector in Uganda.
Methods: The methods used to prepare the policy brief use the SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health policy making. The problem that this evidence brief addresses was identified through an explicit priority setting process involving policy makers and other stakeholders, further clarification with key informant interviews of relevant policy makers, and review of relevant documents. A working group of national stakeholder representatives and external reviewers commented on and contributed to successive drafts of the report. Research describing the problem, policy options, and implementation considerations was identified by reviewing government documents, routinely collected data, electronic literature searches, contact with key informants, and reviewing the reference lists of relevant documents that were retrieved.
Results: The proportion of pregnant women delivering from public and private non-profit facilities was low at 34 percent in 2008/09. The three policy options discussed in the report could be adopted independently or complementary to the other to increase access to skilled care. The Ministry of Health in deliberating to provide intrapartum care at first level health facilities from the second level of care, requested for research evidence to support these decisions. Maternal waiting shelters and working with the private-for-profit sector to facilitate deliveries in health facilities are promising complementary interventions that have been piloted in both the public and private health sector. A combination of strategies is needed to effectively implement the proposed options as discussed further in this article.
Conclusions: The policy brief report was used as a background document for two stakeholder dialogue meetings involving members of parliament, policy makers, health managers, researchers, civil society, professional organizations, and the media.
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