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Can managers empower nurse-midwives to improve maternal health care? A comparison of two resource-poor hospitals in Tanzania

Tibandebage, Paula; Kida, Tausi; Mackintosh, Maureen and Ikingura, Joyce (2016). Can managers empower nurse-midwives to improve maternal health care? A comparison of two resource-poor hospitals in Tanzania. International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 31(4) pp. 379–395.

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Maternal mortality is very high in Tanzania. Competent hospital care is key to improving maternal outcomes, but there is a crisis of availability and performance of health workers in maternal care. This article uses interviews with managers, nurse-midwives, and women who had given birth in two hospitals providing virtually all the emergency maternal care in one Tanzania city. It contrasts women's experience in the two hospitals, and analyses interconnections with nurse-midwives' and managers' experiences of working conditions. The conceptual literature on nurse empowerment identifies some key explanatory variables for these contrasts. Staff experienced less frustration and constraint in one of the hospitals; had more access to structurally empowering resources; and experienced greater congruence between job commitment and working culture, resulting in better work engagement. Conversely, nurse-midwives in the other hospital were constrained by supply shortages and recurrent lack of support. Contrasting management styles and their impacts demonstrate that even in severely resource-constrained environments, there is room for management to empower staff to improve maternal care. Empowering management practices include participatory management, supportive supervision, better incentives, and clear leadership concerning ward culture. Structural constraints beyond the capacity of health facility managers must however also be addressed

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Authors
ISSN: 1099-1751
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Ethics, payments and maternal survival in TanzaniaD-10-047-MMWellcome Trust
Keywords: empowerment; engagement; maternal care; nurse management; Tanzania
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 42188
Depositing User: Maureen Mackintosh
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 10:32
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2018 10:59
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