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BJOG. 2009 Oct;116 Suppl 1:41-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02332.x.

Ensuring effective Essential Obstetric Care in resource poor settings.

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Maternal and Newborn Health Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.


Although Emergency Obstetric Care (EOC) is globally accepted as a key strategy to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality, there is still a lot of debate surrounding its use--What is EOC? Is it evidence-based? How can we measure it? How can we improve access to EOC? This paper attempts to answer these questions. Although there are no randomized controlled trials, there is strong evidence from quasi-experimental, observational and ecological studies that EOC should be a critical component of any programme to reduce maternal mortality. This paper also identifies the barriers to accessing EOC and proposes strategies to overcome them which could contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goal 5.

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