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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Trials
Title Evaluating the effect of the Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth (HMS BAB) training in Tanzania and Uganda: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Volume 18
Issue 307
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-017-2056-7
Background: Postpartum haemorrhage complicates approximately 10% of all deliveries and contributes to at least a quarter of all maternal deaths worldwide. The competency-based Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth (HMS BAB) training was developed to support evidence-based management of postpartum haemorrhage. This one-day training includes low-cost MamaNatalie® birthing simulators and addresses both prevention and first-line treatment of haemorrhage. While evidence is accumulating that the training improves health provider’s knowledge, skills and confidence, evidence is missing as to whether this translates into improved practices and reduced maternal morbidity and mortality. This cluster-randomised trial aims to assess whether this training package — involving a one-day competency-based HMS BAB in-facility training provided by certified trainers followed by 8 weeks of in-service peer-based practice — has an effect on the occurrence of haemorrhage-related morbidity and mortality.

Methods/design: In Tanzania and Uganda we randomise 20 and 18 districts (clusters) respectively, with half receiving the training intervention. We use unblinded matched-pair randomisation to balance district health system characteristics and the main outcome, which is in-facility severe morbidity due to haemorrhage defined by the World Health Organizationation-promoted disease and management-based near-miss criteria. Data are collected continuously in the intervention and comparison districts throughout the 6-month baseline and the 9-month intervention phase, which commences after the training intervention. Trained facility midwives or clinicians review severe maternal complications to identify near misses on a daily basis. They abstract the case information from case notes and enter it onto programmed tablets where it is uploaded.

Intention-to-treat analysis will be used, taking the matched design into consideration using paired t test statistics to compare the outcomes between the intervention and comparison districts. We also assess the impact pathway from the effects of the training on the health provider’s skills, care and interventions and health system readiness.

Discussion: This trial aims to generate evidence on the effect and limitations of this well-designed training package supported by birthing simulations. While the lack of blinding of participants and data collectors provides an inevitable limitation of this trial, the additional evaluation along the pathway of implementation will provide solid evidence on the effects of this HMS BAB training package.

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