Publications by authors named "Lela Shengelia"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Parental Perceptions of Children's Weight Status in 22 Countries: The WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: COSI 2015/2017.

Obes Facts 2021 Nov 5:1-17. Epub 2021 Nov 5.

Observatory of Nutrition and Study of Obesity, Spanish Agency for Food Safety & Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: Parents can act as important agents of change and support for healthy childhood growth and development. Studies have found that parents may not be able to accurately perceive their child's weight status. The purpose of this study was to measure parental perceptions of their child's weight status and to identify predictors of potential parental misperceptions.

Methods: We used data from the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative and 22 countries. Parents were asked to identify their perceptions of their children's weight status as "underweight," "normal weight," "a little overweight," or "extremely overweight." We categorized children's (6-9 years; n = 124,296) body mass index (BMI) as BMI-for-age Z-scores based on the 2007 WHO-recommended growth references. For each country included in the analysis and pooled estimates (country level), we calculated the distribution of children according to the WHO weight status classification, distribution by parental perception of child's weight status, percentages of accurate, overestimating, or underestimating perceptions, misclassification levels, and predictors of parental misperceptions using a multilevel logistic regression analysis that included only children with overweight (including obesity). Statistical analyses were performed using Stata version 15 1.

Results: Overall, 64.1% of parents categorized their child's weight status accurately relative to the WHO growth charts. However, parents were more likely to underestimate their child's weight if the child had overweight (82.3%) or obesity (93.8%). Parents were more likely to underestimate their child's weight if the child was male (adjusted OR [adjOR]: 1.41; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.28-1.55); the parent had a lower educational level (adjOR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.26-1.57); the father was asked rather than the mother (adjOR: 1.14; 95% CI: 0.98-1.33); and the family lived in a rural area (adjOR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.99-1.24). Overall, parents' BMI was not strongly associated with the underestimation of children's weight status, but there was a stronger association in some countries.

Discussion/conclusion: Our study supplements the current literature on factors that influence parental perceptions of their child's weight status. Public health interventions aimed at promoting healthy childhood growth and development should consider parents' knowledge and perceptions, as well as the sociocultural contexts in which children and families live.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000517586DOI Listing
November 2021

Methodology and implementation of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI).

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 4;22 Suppl 6:e13215. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Sciensano, Brussels, Belgium.

Establishment of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) has resulted in a surveillance system which provides regular, reliable, timely, and accurate data on children's weight status-through standardized measurement of bodyweight and height-in the WHO European Region. Additional data on dietary intake, physical activity, sedentary behavior, family background, and school environments are collected in several countries. In total, 45 countries in the European Region have participated in COSI. The first five data collection rounds, between 2007 and 2021, yielded measured anthropometric data on over 1.3 million children. In COSI, data are collected according to a common protocol, using standardized instruments and procedures. The systematic collection and analysis of these data enables intercountry comparisons and reveals differences in the prevalence of childhood thinness, overweight, normal weight, and obesity between and within populations. Furthermore, it facilitates investigation of the relationship between overweight, obesity, and potential risk or protective factors and improves the understanding of the development of overweight and obesity in European primary-school children in order to support appropriate and effective policy responses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13215DOI Listing
November 2021

May Measurement Month 2019: blood pressure screening results in Georgia, Europe.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2021 May 20;23(Suppl B):B59-B61. Epub 2021 May 20.

Imperial Clinical Trials Unit, Imperial College London, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, London W12 7RH, UK.

May Measurement Month is a global campaign aimed at raising public awareness of hypertension and to improve the management of hypertension-the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in the population. Screening was carried out at 400 sites on a national scale. More than 500 volunteers, including physicians (80%) and students of medical universities (20%) participated in the screening. To familiarize them with the research tools and standard blood pressure (BP) measurement method, they were trained by the members of the Georgian Society of Hypertension and the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health's staff. Medical societies, health-care professionals, public health workers, social mass media, and other stakeholders were actively involved in the recruitment process. A total of 13 267 (38.5% males and 61.5% females) individuals were screened. The mean age of participants was 54.7 years (SD 15.9). All participants were Caucasian. After imputation of missing BP readings, 8510 (64.1%) were found to have hypertension, out of whom 7269 (85.4%) were aware of their condition, 7232 (85.0%) were on medication, and 1278 (15.0%) were not taking any medication. Of those taking antihypertensive medication, 34.8% had their BP controlled (<140/90 mmHg). May Measurement Month detected a high proportion of participants with hypertension, with results indicating low rates of control in Georgia.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suab022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559327PMC
May 2021

Mobilizing governments and society to combat obesity: Reflections on how data from the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative are helping to drive policy progress.

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 10;22 Suppl 6:e13217. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

World Health Organization (WHO) European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, Division of Country Health Programmes, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Moscow, Russian Federation.

To meet the need for regular and reliable data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) was established in 2007. The resulting robust surveillance system has improved understanding of the public health challenge of childhood overweight and obesity in the WHO European Region. For the past decade, data from COSI have helped to inform and drive policy action on nutrition and physical activity in the region. This paper describes illustrative examples of how COSI data have fed into national and international policy, but the real scope of COSI's impact is likely to be much broader. In some countries, there are signs that policy responses to COSI data have helped halt the rise in childhood obesity. As the countries of the WHO European Region commit to pursuing United Action for Better Health in Europe in WHO's new European Programme of Work, COSI provides an excellent example of such united action in practice. Further collaborative action will be key to tackling this major public health challenge which affects children throughout the region.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13217DOI Listing
November 2021

Thinness, overweight, and obesity in 6- to 9-year-old children from 36 countries: The World Health Organization European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative-COSI 2015-2017.

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 7;22 Suppl 6:e13214. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Center for Health Ecology, Institute of Public Health, Podgorica, Montenegro.

In 2015-2017, the fourth round of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) was conducted in 36 countries. National representative samples of children aged 6-9 (203,323) were measured by trained staff, with similar equipment and using a standardized protocol. This paper assesses the children's body weight status and compares the burden of childhood overweight, obesity, and thinness in Northern, Eastern, and Southern Europe and Central Asia. The results show great geographic variability in height, weight, and body mass index. On average, the children of Northern Europe were the tallest, those of Southern Europe the heaviest, and the children living in Central Asia the lightest and the shortest. Overall, 28.7% of boys and 26.5% of girls were overweight (including obesity) and 2.5% and 1.9%, respectively, were thin according to the WHO definitions. The prevalence of obesity varied from 1.8% of boys and 1.1% of girls in Tajikistan to 21.5% and 19.2%, respectively, in Cyprus, and tended to be higher for boys than for girls. Levels of thinness, stunting, and underweight were relatively low, except in Eastern Europe (for thinness) and in Central Asia. Despite the efforts to halt it, unhealthy weight status is still an important problem in the WHO European Region.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13214DOI Listing
November 2021

Socioeconomic disparities in physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep patterns among 6- to 9-year-old children from 24 countries in the WHO European region.

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 7;22 Suppl 6:e13209. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-Course, WHO Country Office for Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep are important predictors of children's health. This paper aimed to investigate socioeconomic disparities in physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep across the WHO European region. This cross-sectional study used data on 124,700 children aged 6 to 9 years from 24 countries participating in the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative between 2015 and 2017. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured through parental education, parental employment status, and family perceived wealth. Overall, results showed different patterns in socioeconomic disparities in children's movement behaviors across countries. In general, high SES children were more likely to use motorized transportation. Low SES children were less likely to participate in sports clubs and more likely to have more than 2 h/day of screen time. Children with low parental education had a 2.24 [95% CI 1.94-2.58] times higher risk of practising sports for less than 2 h/week. In the pooled analysis, SES was not significantly related to active play. The relationship between SES and sleep varied by the SES indicator used. Importantly, results showed that low SES is not always associated with a higher prevalence of "less healthy" behaviors. There is a great diversity in SES patterns across countries which supports the need for country-specific, targeted public health interventions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13209DOI Listing
November 2021

Urban and rural differences in frequency of fruit, vegetable, and soft drink consumption among 6-9-year-old children from 19 countries from the WHO European region.

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 7;22 Suppl 6:e13207. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Obesity Management Centre, Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic.

In order to address the paucity of evidence on the association between childhood eating habits and urbanization, this cross-sectional study describes urban-rural differences in frequency of fruit, vegetable, and soft drink consumption in 123,100 children aged 6-9 years from 19 countries participating in the fourth round (2015-2017) of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI). Children's parents/caregivers completed food-frequency questionnaires. A multivariate multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed and revealed wide variability among countries and within macroregions for all indicators. The percentage of children attending rural schools ranged from 3% in Turkey to 70% in Turkmenistan. The prevalence of less healthy eating habits was high, with between 30-80% and 30-90% children not eating fruit or vegetables daily, respectively, and up to 45% consuming soft drinks on >3 days a week. For less than one third of the countries, children attending rural schools had higher odds (OR-range: 1.1-2.1) for not eating fruit or vegetables daily or consuming soft drinks >3 days a week compared to children attending urban schools. For the remainder of the countries no significant associations were observed. Both population-based interventions and policy strategies are necessary to improve access to healthy foods and increase healthy eating behaviors among children.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13207DOI Listing
November 2021

Socioeconomic differences in food habits among 6- to 9-year-old children from 23 countries-WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI 2015/2017).

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 7;22 Suppl 6:e13211. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

World Health Organization (WHO) European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, Division of Country Health Programmes, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Background: Socioeconomic differences in children's food habits are a key public health concern. In order to inform policy makers, cross-country surveillance studies of dietary patterns across socioeconomic groups are required. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and children's food habits.

Methods: The study was based on nationally representative data from children aged 6-9 years (n = 129,164) in 23 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. Multivariate multilevel analyses were used to explore associations between children's food habits (consumption of fruit, vegetables, and sugar-containing soft drinks) and parental education, perceived family wealth and parental employment status.

Results: Overall, the present study suggests that unhealthy food habits are associated with lower SES, particularly as assessed by parental education and family perceived wealth, but not parental employment status. We found cross-national and regional variation in associations between SES and food habits and differences in the extent to which the respective indicators of SES were related to children's diet.

Conclusion: Socioeconomic differences in children's food habits exist in the majority of European and Asian countries examined in this study. The results are of relevance when addressing strategies, policy actions, and interventions targeting social inequalities in children's diets.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13211DOI Listing
November 2021

Socioeconomic inequalities in overweight and obesity among 6- to 9-year-old children in 24 countries from the World Health Organization European region.

Obes Rev 2021 Nov 28;22 Suppl 6:e13213. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Center for Health Ecology, Institute of Public Health, Podgorica, Montenegro.

Childhood overweight and obesity have significant short- and long-term negative impacts on children's health and well-being. These challenges are unequally distributed according to socioeconomic status (SES); however, previous studies have often lacked standardized and objectively measured data across national contexts to assess these differences. This study provides a cross-sectional picture of the association between SES and childhood overweight and obesity, based on data from 123,487 children aged 6-9 years in 24 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European region. Overall, associations were found between overweight/obesity and the three SES indicators used (parental education, parental employment status, and family-perceived wealth). Our results showed an inverse relationship between the prevalence of childhood overweight/obesity and parental education in high-income countries, whereas the opposite relationship was observed in most of the middle-income countries. The same applied to family-perceived wealth, although parental employment status appeared to be less associated with overweight and obesity or not associated at all. This paper highlights the need for close attention to context when designing interventions, as the association between SES and childhood overweight and obesity varies by country economic development. Population-based interventions have an important role to play, but policies that target specific SES groups are also needed to address inequalities.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13213DOI Listing
November 2021

Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Sleep Duration of Children Aged 6-9 Years in 25 Countries: An Analysis within the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) 2015-2017.

Obes Facts 2021 22;14(1):32-44. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

National Institute of Health Dr Ricardo Jorge I.P., Lisbon, Portugal.

Background: Children are becoming less physically active as opportunities for safe active play, recreational activities, and active transport decrease. At the same time, sedentary screen-based activities both during school and leisure time are increasing.

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate physical activity (PA), screen time, and sleep duration of girls and boys aged 6-9 years in Europe using data from the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI).

Method: The fourth COSI data collection round was conducted in 2015-2017, using a standardized protocol that included a family form completed by parents with specific questions about their children's PA, screen time, and sleep duration.

Results: Nationally representative data from 25 countries was included and information on the PA behaviour, screen time, and sleep duration of 150,651 children was analysed. Pooled analysis showed that: 79.4% were actively playing for >1 h each day, 53.9% were not members of a sport or dancing club, 50.0% walked or cycled to school each day, 60.2% engaged in screen time for <2 h/day, and 84.9% slept for 9-11 h/night. Country-specific analyses of these behaviours showed pronounced differences, with national prevalences in the range of 61.7-98.3% actively playing for >1 h/day, 8.2-85.6% were not members of a sport or dancing club, 17.7-94.0% walked or cycled to school each day, 32.3-80.0% engaged in screen time for <2 h/day, and 50.0-95.8% slept for 9-11 h/night.

Conclusions: The prevalence of engagement in PA and the achievement of healthy screen time and sleep duration are heterogenous across the region. Policymakers and other stakeholders, including school administrators and parents, should increase opportunities for young people to participate in daily PA as well as explore solutions to address excessive screen time and short sleep duration to improve the overall physical and mental health and well-being of children.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000511263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7983588PMC
July 2021

May Measurement Month 2018: an analysis of blood pressure screening results in Georgia.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2020 Aug 28;22(Suppl H):H56-H58. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Imperial Clinical Trials Unit, Imperial College London, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, London W12 7RH, UK.

May Measurement Month (MMM) is aimed at raising public awareness about arterial hypertension-the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in the population. Screening was carried out at 200 sites on a national scale. More than 500 volunteers, including doctors (80%) and medical students (20%) participated in the screening. To familiarize them with the research tools and standard blood pressure (BP) measurement method, their training was conducted by the Georgian Society of Hypertension in Tbilisi and other large cities. Social and mass media, medical societies, and other stakeholders were actively involved in the recruitment process. A total of 10 756 people were screened. The mean age of participants was 53.1 years (SD 16.1). Males-67.9%, females-32.1%. One hundred percent were White. After multiple imputation, the number of hypertensive patients was 6.037 (56.1%) and out of them 4950 were aware and 4701 (77.9%) were on medication, 1336 (22.1%) were not taking a medication. Of those taking antihypertensive medication, 38.2% had controlled BP. In spite of non-randomized selection and certain restrictions with respect to extrapolation of the results, MMM comprehensively reflects an urgent problem and major gaps in the health system. Based on the above, its importance is extremely valuable for identifying public health policy priorities.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suaa028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455291PMC
August 2020

A Snapshot of European Children's Eating Habits: Results from the Fourth Round of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI).

Nutrients 2020 Aug 17;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department for Organization of Health Services to Children, Mothers, Adolescents and Family Planning, Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population, 734025 Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Consuming a healthy diet in childhood helps to protect against malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This cross-sectional study described the diets of 132,489 children aged six to nine years from 23 countries participating in round four (2015-2017) of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI). Children's parents or caregivers were asked to complete a questionnaire that contained indicators of energy-balance-related behaviors (including diet). For each country, we calculated the percentage of children who consumed breakfast, fruit, vegetables, sweet snacks or soft drinks "every day", "most days (four to six days per week)", "some days (one to three days per week)", or "never or less than once a week". We reported these results stratified by country, sex, and region. On a daily basis, most children (78.5%) consumed breakfast, fewer than half (42.5%) consumed fruit, fewer than a quarter (22.6%) consumed fresh vegetables, and around one in ten consumed sweet snacks or soft drinks (10.3% and 9.4%, respectively); however, there were large between-country differences. This paper highlights an urgent need to create healthier food and drink environments, reinforce health systems to promote healthy diets, and continue to support child nutrition and obesity surveillance.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12082481DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468747PMC
August 2020

Clustering of Multiple Energy Balance-Related Behaviors in School Children and its Association with Overweight and Obesity-WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI 2015⁻2017).

Nutrients 2019 Feb 27;11(3). Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, WHO European Office for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, 125009 Moscow, Russia.

It is unclear how dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviors co-occur in school-aged children. We investigated the clustering of energy balance-related behaviors and whether the identified clusters were associated with weight status. Participants were 6- to 9-year-old children ( = 63,215, 49.9% girls) from 19 countries participating in the fourth round (2015/2017) of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative. Energy balance-related behaviors were parentally reported. Weight and height were objectively measured. We performed cluster analysis separately per group of countries (North Europe, East Europe, South Europe/Mediterranean countries and West-Central Asia). Seven clusters were identified in each group. Healthier clusters were common across groups. The pattern of distribution of healthy and unhealthy behaviors within each cluster was group specific. Associations between the clustering of energy balance-related behaviors and weight status varied per group. In South Europe/Mediterranean countries and East Europe, all or most of the cluster solutions were associated with higher risk of overweight/obesity when compared with the cluster 'Physically active and healthy diet'. Few or no associations were observed in North Europe and West-Central Asia, respectively. These findings support the hypothesis that unfavorable weight status is associated with a particular combination of energy balance-related behavior patterns, but only in some groups of countries.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11030511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471416PMC
February 2019

Barriers to accessing adequate maternal care in Georgia: a qualitative study.

BMC Health Serv Res 2018 Aug 13;18(1):631. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Duboisdomein 30, Maastricht, 6229 GT, The Netherlands.

Background: The maternal health outcomes in Georgia are linked to shortcomings in healthcare such as inequities in access to adequate maternal care. Due to the macro-level, quantitative approach applied in most previous studies, little is known about the underlying reasons that influence maternal care and care-seeking behaviour of pregnant women.

Methods: This qualitative study explores the stakeholders' perspectives on access to adequate maternal care in Georgia. Focus-group discussions are conducted with mothers who gave birth within in the past four years and in-depth interviews are conducted with decision-makers and health professionals in the field. Five access-related aspects are studied: availability, appropriateness, affordability, approachability and acceptability of maternal care. The method of direct content analysis is applied.

Results: Results indicate problems with maternal care standards, inequalities across population groups and drawbacks in maternal care financing. This includes gaps in clinical quality and staff skills, as well as poor communication between women and health professionals. Geographical barriers to adequate maternal care exist in rural and mountainous areas due to the weak infrastructure (poor roads and weak transportation), in addition to financial hardships. Despite improvements in the coverage of maternal care, affordability remains an access barrier. Poorer population groups are financially unprotected from the high out-of-pocket payments for maternal care services.

Conclusion: These findings imply that micro-level indicators, such as disrespectful behaviour of health professionals and affordability of care, should be taken into account when assessing maternal care provision in Georgia. It should complement the existing macro-level indicators for a comprehensive evaluation of maternal care.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3432-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6090778PMC
August 2018

Stakeholders' views on the strengths and weaknesses of maternal care financing and its reform in Georgia.

BMC Health Serv Res 2017 Aug 8;17(1):544. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Background: The improvement of maternal health has been one of the aims of the health financing reforms in Georgia. Public-private relationships are the most notable part of the reform. This study aimed to assess the strengths and weakness of the maternal care financing in Georgia in terms of adequacy and effects.

Methods: A qualitative design was used to explore the opinions of key stakeholders about the adequacy of maternal care financing and financial protection of pregnant women in Georgia. Women who had used maternal care during the past 4 years along with health care providers, policy makers, and representatives of international partner organizations and national professional body were the respondents in this study. Six focus group discussions to collect data from women and 15 face-to-face in-depth interviews to collect data from the other stakeholders were conducted. Each focus group discussion consisted of 7-8 women. Two focus group discussions were carried out at each of the target settings (i.e. Tbilisi, Imereti and Adjara). Women were selected in each location through the hospital registry and snowballing method.

Results: The evidence shows that there is a consensus among maternal care stakeholder groups on the influence of the healthcare financing reforms on maternal health. Specifically, the privatization of the maternal care services has had positive effects because it significantly improved the environment and technical capacity of the maternity houses. Also, in contrast to other former-soviet republics, there are no informal payments anymore for maternal care in Georgia. However the privatization, which was done without strict regulation, negatively influenced the reform process and provided the possibility to private providers to manipulate the formal user fees in maternal care. Stakeholders also indicated that the UHC programs implemented at the last stage of the healthcare financing reform as well as other state maternal health programs protect women from catastrophic health care expenditure.

Conclusion: The results suggest a consensus among stakeholders on the influence of the healthcare financing reform on maternal healthcare. The total privatization of the maternal care services has had positive effects because it significantly improved the environment and the technical capacity of the maternity house. However, the aim to improve maternal health and to reduce maternal mortality was not fully achieved. Financial protection of mothers should be further studied to identify vulnerable groups who should be targeted in future programs.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2485-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549305PMC
August 2017
-->