The state of Kerala has made remarkable progress in reducing the infant mortality rates, compared to other states in India. Today, infant and neonatal mortality rates in Kerala are among the lowest in India. The government of Kerala has made a further commitment to reduce these rates by fifty percent by 2017. Despite the concerted efforts of the government and local healthcare institutions, infant and neonatal mortality rates in the state have remained stagnant over the last few years. The last mile reduction calls for specific targeted strategies at the micro level.
ACCESS Health is partnering with the National Health Mission of Kerala to pilot the Kerala Neonatal Quality Collaborative. The collaborative uses an evidence based approach to address neonatal mortality in the state.
The Kerala Neonatal Quality Collaborative has three main aims:
To identify the leading causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality in healthcare facilities in Kerala and to implement strategies to tackle these causes in all facilities.
To improve the quality of obstetric and newborn care services in healthcare facilities in Kerala.
To reduce perinatal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in Kerala healthcare facilities by twenty five percent.
The pilot collaborative will last twelve months. It will build capacity for quality improvement in newborn care by mentoring and guiding quality improvement teams at fifteen public and two private hospitals – one in each district in Kerala. If successful, ACCESS Health and our partners will scale the project to include facilities throughout Kerala.
In association with the project, an expert faculty group of clinical experts from the major tertiary care hospitals in Kerala have identified four focus areas for the project and associated antenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal interventions. The group has formulated and approved thirteen quality statements relating to these interventions. The use of these quality statements is expected to decrease significantly the neonatal mortality rate in the state.
Our partners for this project are the Directorate of Health Services – Kerala, the Indian Academy of Pediatrica – Kerala, the Kerala Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the National Health Mission Kerala, and the State Health Systems Resource Centre – Kerala.