The Every Preemie – SCALE project (Every Preemie) is in the process of finalizing a protocol and tools for a multi-country situation analysis of inpatient care of newborns and young infants in select countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. This multi-country situation analysis will assess service readiness and quality of care by examining health system structures and facility processes for inpatient care of sick newborns and young infants from 0-59 days old. This study will focus on four main objectives to determine existing structural and procedural challenges, gaps and successes that either hinder or improve the quality of inpatient care of newborns and young infants. The main objectives are: 1) to analyze the national agenda, including strategies, policies, clinical protocols and standards/guidelines, in support of inpatient care of newborns and young infants; 2) to examine facility readiness as per the WHO health system building blocks and the quality of care framework; 3) to explore parent/caregiver experiences with inpatient care; and 4) to elicit program insights from program managers and implementers on issues related to inpatient care and the capacity of programs to provide quality inpatient care. The situation analysis is designed to be used in both public and private sector facilities.

The tools will be pre-tested in Nepal (with support from USAID/Nepal and the Ministry of Health) and in Malawi (with support from Every Preemie, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health) in September. Following feedback from the pre-test, the tools will be finalized and it is expected that country implementation for the situation analysis will begin in November/December. Countries currently interested in implementing the situation analysis include Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal and Nigeria.

Once finalized, the protocol and tools will be available for global use and will be available on the Every Preemie website.

By Judith Robb-McCord