IMAGINE EURO

Improving MAternal Newborn carE in the EURO Region

As a contribution to the IMAgiNE EURO research project, a European survey on the quality of obstetric, maternal, and newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic, INED is conducting an online survey on the organization, quality, and resilience of maternal and neonatal healthcare services in France. The aim of this WHO-coordinated survey is to improve the quality of care for new mothers and newborns in healthcare institutions. It is addressed to all women who have given birth since March 2020 together with the relevant health professionals. 

Little is yet known about the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and neonatal care
The reorganization of hospital departments to cope with the COVID-19 health crisis, the fact that deliveries cannot be deferred or displaced, and lockdown restrictions on movements may have considerably impacted quality and access to maternal and neonatal care. A recent study estimates that mortality in maternal and newborn care departments in several European countries rose with the onset of the pandemic. Despite WHO recommendations, there is also major concern about respect of mothers’ rights and compliance with best practices, such as breastfeeding, the importance of mother and newborn skin-to-skin contact, and the risk of excessive medicalization.

A survey coordinated by the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe (EURO)
The IMAgiNE EURO survey was developed in coordination with the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe (EURO) and several partners, including INED, tasked to conduct the survey in France. It aims to provide and diffuse data likely to help improve the quality of maternal and neonatal health care departments. The WHO has established a series of qualitative measures to evaluate the quality of these services, identifying three major areas: care delivery, patients’ experience of care, and the availability of physical and human resources. Data collection on the quality of maternal and neonatal health services across European countries will provide essential missing information, and the data collected can be used to plan a coordinated European-wide response that will improve the quality of care for mothers and newborns. 

Data collection is essential for improving maternal and neonatal care quality
Scientific studies have not yet clearly identified the risks of COVID-19 for newborns. The absence of consensus on this point has generated heterogeneous practices across the various European countries; this in turn can lead to major inequalities. The present study may bring to light models and best practices that have proven effective. Data collection at the European scale could therefore provide points of comparison and indicate ways to improve the quality of maternity services in France and Europe

More information on this survey