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Improving maternal health is a global priority, particularly in high HIV-endemic, resource-limited settings. Failure to use health care facilities due to poor access is one of the main causes of maternal deaths in South Africa. "Point-of-care" (POC) diagnostics are an innovative healthcare approach to improve healthcare access and health outcomes in remote and resource-limited settings. In this review, POC testing is defined as a diagnostic test that is carried out near patients and leads to rapid clinical decisions. We review the current and emerging POC diagnostics for maternal health, with a specific focus on the World Health Organization (WHO) quality-ASSURED (Affordability, Sensitivity, Specificity, User friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment free and Delivered) criteria for an ideal point-of-care test in resource-limited settings. The performance of POC diagnostics, barriers and challenges related to implementing POC diagnostics for maternal health in rural and resource-limited settings are reviewed. Innovative strategies for overcoming these barriers are recommended to achieve substantial progress on improving maternal health outcomes in these settings.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)
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Planning that has the goals of improving health, improving accessibility to health services, and promoting efficiency in the provision of services and resources on a comprehensive basis for a whole community. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988, p299)
A republic in southern Africa, the southernmost part of Africa. It has three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Officially the Republic of South Africa since 1960, it was called the Union of South Africa 1910-1960.
Organized services to provide health care to women. It excludes maternal care services for which MATERNAL HEALTH SERVICES is available.
A multi- and interdisciplinary field concerned with improving health and achieving equity in health for all people. It transcends national boundaries, promotes cooperation and collaboration within and beyond health science fields, and combines population-based disease prevention with individually-based patient care.
Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to mothers and children.
Health care (or healthcare) is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, a...