Upcoming FCoP Webinar on Cesarean Section Safety and Quality in Low-Resource Settings

Please join the Fistula Community of Practice (FCoP) on November 9, 2017 at 9:30 am Eastern Daylight Time for a webinar sharing highlights from a recent technical consultation on cesarean section safety and quality in low-resource settings.

Cesarean section provision has expanded rapidly in low/middle-income countries (LMIC). While this includes needed growth in emergency obstetric and newborn care, evidence indicates that many cesarean sections are performed in settings where minimum standards for care quality and surgical safety cannot be met. Iatrogenic fistula resulting from cesarean section now accounts for a substantial proportion of LMIC fistula incidence.

The Fistula Care Plus project and Maternal Health Task Force recently convened a consultation to understand the causes of and potential solutions to this challenge. Participants included clinicians and researchers in LMIC, at global institutions, and in the US. Following presentations of global cesarean section trends, participants discussed flashpoints in safety and quality (e.g., workforce density, task shifting, clinical decision-making, and patient rights). The proceedings showcased evidence of severe gaps (e.g., staffing, infrastructure, protocols) undermining cesarean section care quality and surgical safety, and public health impacts of cesarean section underuse and overuse. Participants identified a consensus agenda to respond to these challenges through action across the maternal, newborn, and safe surgery communities. Implementation of this agenda is essential for realization of the potential impacts of universal access to essential obstetric surgery.

Webinar learning objectives:

  • Understand the key findings of a recent analysis of DHS and SPA data on trends in cesarean section provision in LMIC
  • Describe important contributors to and key health impacts of an unsafe health system environment for cesarean section
  • Describe the key actions in the consensus agenda produced through the consultation Identify opportunities to disseminate the action agenda and support its implementation

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Registration Information:

Date: November 9, 2017
Time: 9:30 am–10:30 am (EDT)
Where: GoToWebinar

register online

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For this webinar, we will be taking questions over Twitter! Please send questions before, during, and after the webinar to @fistulacare or using #csectionsafety.

Webinar Presenters:

Lenka Benova
Lenka is a quantitative population health scientist with training in management, economics, Middle East studies and demography. She currently serves as a co-investigator in the Maternal healthcare markets Evaluation Team (MET), leading the SAGE (Secondary data Analysis for Generating new Evidence) team. Within this role, Lenka utilizes secondary data – on both individual and health-facility levels – to describe levels, trends and inequalities in healthcare coverage in order to pinpoint policy priorities. Previously, she headed operations in a start-up company in eldercare in the United States and worked as project coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières in Nigeria, the West Bank and South Sudan. Lenka’s research focus is on health-seeking behavior in general and reproductive/maternal health in particular.

Vandana Tripathi, MPH, PhD
Vandana Tripathi is the Deputy Director of the Fistula Care Plus Project. Before joining EngenderHealth, she worked on research studies related to maternal and newborn health, particularly quality of care measures in Sub-Saharan Africa, through projects at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program. Prior to this, Vandana worked at institutions including HealthRight International, Planned Parenthood of New York City, and the Ford Foundation.


John Varallo, MD, MPH
Dr. John Varallo is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist with extensive global public health and clinical experience in over 20 countries in diverse settings. At Jhpiego/MCSP, he is a Senior Technical Advisor providing technical leadership on improving the quality of care in the prevention and management of maternal complications, including improving the safety and quality of cesarean section in the organization’s programs.


Mary Nell Wegner, EdM, MPH
Mary Nell Wegner is the Executive Director of the Maternal Health Task, overseeing work that spans the MHTF portfolio and includes a number of partners, as well as faculty, staff, and students. Previously, she has worked directly for donors (the Rockefeller Foundation, UNFPA and the Empower Foundation) as well as community-based and nonprofit organizations at both the local and global levels (Jubilee Refugee Camp, The White Mountain Apache Tribal Health Authority, The Women’s Dignity Project, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, The Margaret Sanger Center and EngenderHealth).


The webinar will be moderated by Bethany Cole, the Global Projects Manager on the Fistula Care Plus project. Please direct any inquiries about the FCoP or the webinar to [email protected].

Connect Dashed Full
The Fistula Care Plus project, in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development, manages the FCoP. The purpose of the FCoP is to facilitate collective learning, knowledge sharing, coordination, and technical resource development related to preventive care, detection, treatment, and reintegration support for women, their families, and their communities, as well as to leverage that within the global conversation and activity around fistula.