Smiling woman at Focused-PPC event

Focused-PPC in Tamale, Ghana:

In many settings in Sub-Saharan Africa, quality postpartum care, education, and support for the mother are often the missing components of postnatal care delivery, which heavily focuses on care of the baby. The lack of standard postpartum care for the mother contributes to maternal deaths. Thus, we developed and tested an innovative postpartum care, education, and support model known as Focused Postpartum Care (Focused-PPC), in Tamale, Ghana.

Focused-PPC is the first integrated and comprehensive group postpartum care delivery model, focused on clinical care of the mother and baby, as well as education and peer support in Ghana. Focused-PPC was implemented as a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in 4 health facilities up to one year after delivery. Specifically, women enrolled in Focused-PPC received postpartum clinical assessments and education for the first 6 weeks, and continued to receive education, measures of vital signs, and peer support for 12 months postpartum during child welfare visits. Our model supported the clinical assessments and timeframes recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and adopted by Ghana Health Service (GHS). Each group met at 1-2 weeks, 6 weeks, and monthly thereafter for up to 1 year postpartum following the GHS postnatal care schedule. Led by trained midwives in the health centers, each group session consisted of postpartum clinical assessments for mother (in addition to baby), education, and peer support. Postpartum clinical assessments followed the recommended clinical assessments by GHS and WHO and included assessment of vital signs, fundal assessment, vaginal bleeding/discharge, any incisions, breast exam, and baby exam.

The content of Focused-PPC education focused on the unique needs of postpartum women based on time-frame after delivery. This specific content was developed from evidence-based guidelines, reviewed by several experts, and approved by GHS. Both audio and visual content were used during Focused-PPC sessions at the health centers. Focused-PPC has the potential to change the postpartum care delivery model in Ghana and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Results from this RCT will be used to further refine and scale up the Focused-PPC model of postpartum care.


  1. This project was funded, in part, with support from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, funded, in part by Grant Number UL1TR002529 from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
  2. The Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame
  3. The Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies and The Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, University of Notre Dame