Traditional birth attendants (8)

13 April, 2019

The message below is forwarded on behalf of HIFA member Daniel Stern (Uganda/Tanzania).

Dear Dr. Joseph,

Thank you for the heads-up, and the good call with balanced judgement, no doubt based upon on-the-ground experience.

I would like to add, apropos Dr. Anna's post. I am trying to remember the title of a seminal essay written by British Dr. King, in which he coined a term to describe the temptation to developing country health ministry officials to "massage" healthcare statistics to better conform to aid agency expectations, and I would be grateful if you could remind me of either the name of the essay, or the full name of the doctor, or the term that he coined. Suffice it to say, that in the course of one or more of our monthly MOH MCH WG meetings, during a presentation by one of our colleagues, being moderated by one of the leading ministry officials, when the presenter gave the official figures for the percentage of babies delivered by traditional midwives outside of clinics and hospitals, without qualifying her statement, at something around 25 percent, the Chairman interrupted - for the sake of ensuring credibility of our discussions, reminding us that the true figures were at least double (and some of our members subsequently murmured "more like two thirds"), before the presentation was allowed to continue.

As you may know we have a good number of MoH officials on the list, and I am confident that if any who are members of our MCH TWG read my post, they would concur.

Kind regards, Daniel

HIFA Profile:

HIFA profile: Daniel Stern is a HIFA Representative and member of the mHIFA WG. He is a member of Uganda MCH TWG. Daniel is Co-founder of the educational NGO Uconnect, and of the Innovation Hub, Hive Colab , and is also Cofounder of ISOC Uganda and Uganda IXP. He is a UN WSA National Expert. His Uconnect team distributes off-line E-Learning content, including Hesperian Health Guides to schools in East Africa since 2008. During his six-years as Lead for Uganda Mobile Monday he regularly organized events with mobile health themes, usually in collaboration with UNICEF’s Uganda team, an and their pan African IntraHealth efforts to improve interoperative healthcare systems, both within and between countries,in mHero, such that developer- entrepreneurss apps would align with the latest tretrends by MoH policies.

DStern AT