PSPHP weighs in on a global discussion of COVID-19 effects on mothers and babies
A total of 349 participants from 49 countries and a lively open forum! This reflects the relevance of COVID-19 effects on maternal and newborn care.
Without clear information and practical guidance, health workers struggle to balance personal safety with quality patient care. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) can facilitate clarity of thought in decision-making. CPGs also optimize patient care by reducing inappropriate variations in practice through due consideration of the evidence, and the benefits and harms of alternative options.
In this webinar, Dr Lei presents how medical professional societies including PSPHP support the Philippine pandemic COVID-19 response through unified algorithms that aim to harmonize practice across the spectrum of care. She segues on the ongoing PSPHP support to the DOH in updating algorithms for pregnancy and newborn care based on current evidence, operational feasibility, and stakeholder feedback (including primary health care providers and patient groups). The current policy affects around 142,000 Filipino newborns routinely separated from their mothers every month.
PSPHP recommendations for pregnancy and newborn care found on this link have the following features:
- “Make the right thing the easy thing.”
- Simplified flow and format
- Evidence-based guidance as default, opt-out is possible if mother prefers separation
- De-emphasize RT-PCR testing in decision-making to account for operational realities
- Testing does not change clinical management in the immediate care
- Results need not come in the way of sound clinical judgement
- Clear guidance on shared-decision making between health care providers and women and their families
Last June 19, WHO Philippines, UNICEF, UNFPA, and DOH also held a webinar on clinical guidelines for mothers and newborns. The discussions are aligned with the PSPHP recommendations submitted to the DOH last May 9. You may access their recording through this link.
Dr Romelei Camiling-Alfonso is a volunteer technical specialist for the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians (PSPHP) active in COVID-19 technical groups related to health policy, systems strengthening and strategy. She is also an active partner & consultant at the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes, Inc and Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc. She has been co-lead in the development of operational guidance for local governments, community-based isolation units (LIGTAS COVID), and unified clinical guidelines. She was invited to this webinar as part of the Emerging Voices for Global Health 2016 cohort of Health Systems Global, and as an alumna of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium (MSc in Public Health focusing on Health Systems Management and Policy). She is an MSc in Innovation and Business candidate at the Asian Institute of Management, currently iterating a remote service delivery model for breastfeeding support. She graduated from the UP College of Medicine (2008) and the UP National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2002, with honors). She served as a Doctor to the Barrio in Agutaya, Palawan.
- PSPHP Technical Working Group on Clinical Algorithms
- Asia Pacific Center for Evidence Based Health Care (APCEBH)
- Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes, Inc (AIHO)
- Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc. (KMI) It is impossible to keep up with rigour and fast-changing landscape without the expert input of Dr Maria Asuncion Silvestre & Dr Donna Capili of Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina (KMI). Dr Jabesse Miguel and Patricia Gan for assistance in data gathering and algorithm construction.
- Mother support group leaders and respondents
- Representatives from medical professionals in primary care settings (Association of Municipal Health Officers in the Philippines, midwives and nurses)
- Philippines DOH Disease Prevention & Control Bureau, Child Health Division
- Partners from WHO Philippines, UNICEF and UNFPA