Care seeking and referral

Join our Community of Practice

Who are we?

Welcome to the Care-Seeking & Referral for maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) Community of Practice (CoP).

We're a worldwide community who share one fundamental goal:

To advance care-seeking and referral practices for mothers, newborns, and children in developing countries.

By joining us, you will become part of a vibrant and passionate online community. We aim to bring you monthly webinars, opportunities for exchange and technical assistance, and a platform for members to discuss latest evidence and practices with leading experts. 

Join the Care Seeking and Referral Community of Practice now → 

A ugandan healthcare professional wearing scrubs and PPE is holding a sign that says, 'I want free transport for pregnant mothers in emergency conditions'

Why is care seeking & referral important?

Women and their families need to know when, how, and where to seek:

  1. Appropriate treatment
  2. A normal delivery
  3. Care for life-threatening conditions.

When these life threatening conditions can be identified in advance, referral is routine. But too often, an emergency arises for mother or baby requiring urgent care and emergency transport.

If MNCH outcomes are to be improved, it is vital the following are in place.

  • Functioning referral systems
  • Continuity of care–from household to health facility
  • If necessary, continuity of care between facilities and back 

Ultimately, appropriate care-seeking, functional referrals, and continuity of care contribute to effective coverage. This is defined as receipt of necessary MNCH preventive and curative services that are timely and of sufficient quality to achieve health impact.

Our webinars, slides, and resources

May 2021 - Time to update the three delays model from a women's empowerment perspective?

Professor Dame Tina Lavender (LSTM) and Valentina Actis Danna (LSTM) joined us to discuss a new prospective model of women’s health empowerment, which encourages active discussion of individualised birth plans and effective birth preparedness.  

Event recording →

Event slides →

June 2021 - Developing networks of health facilities for improving access to EmONC

Empirical evidence on improving access to EmONC in Sub-Sharan Africa was presented by:

  • Dr Michel Brun, Reproductive Health Advisor at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, UNFPA
  • Jean Pierre Monet, Technical Specialist at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, UNFPA 
  • Dr Joseph Vyankandondera, Technical Specialist at UNFPA regional office for West and Central Africa.

Event recording →

Event slides →

July 2021 - Maternity Waiting Homes

This webinar presented the results of two recent systematic reviews of maternity waiting homes in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries and has insights from a programme manager and district manager in Zambia. 

Event recording →

Maternity waiting home slides →

Policy brief Liberia → 

Policy brief Zambia →

Want to get in contact?