Role of the multi-disciplinary team in MDSR

Packaging Evidence
We asked six experts from Malaysia, Ireland, Ethiopia and India about the importance of multi-disciplinary teams in maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) systems. Read more about the insights they shared with us.

Our contributors have all worked closely with MDSR or aspects of MDSRs in various guises, contexts and parts of the world. We have drawn together common themes from their insights to draw out lessons learned for the successful involvement of members of the multi-disciplinary health team in MDSR.

Several of our expert contributors who interviewed for this piece emphasised the need to involve broad civil society, community or religious stakeholders in the process of the review of maternal deaths, because, as Fiona Hanrahan, a senior midwife and midwifery reviewer of maternal deaths in Ireland, noted:

Not all maternal deaths are as a result of medical conditions or obstetric complications.

Involving a wide range of stakeholders such as communities and civil society in the MDSR process is essential to learning about the individual, familial, socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors that might have contributed to a maternal death. A multi-stakeholder approach involving all of these groups as well as health system actors is ideal.

The importance of multi-disciplinary teams in MDSR

This article focuses on the importance of teamwork required between clinical and non-clinical actors in the health system when working in MDSR systems. What do our experts say about how these multi-disciplinary teams can most effectively contribute to reviewing maternal deaths worldwide?

Our expert contributors agreed that successful MDSR systems always require the involvement of a range of clinical and non-clinical staff within the health system. Dr V P Paily, state coordinator of the Confidential Review of Maternal Deaths in Kerala, explained: 

“MDSR is team work. It can be successful only as a team.” 

Edel Manning, a midwife and ultrasonographer and Coordinator of the Maternal Death Enquiry Ireland, emphasised that a multi-disciplinary approach in the review process is essential “in order to make a complete assessment of factors impacting on the maternal death” to identify any system failures or training needs within the team.

Click here to read the full article, originally published on the MDSR Action Network website.

MDSR Action Network. (2016). Expert opinions from around the world: The role of the multi-disciplinary team in MDSR. London: MDSR Action Network-Evidence for Action.

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