Fieldwork in China 

Professor Barclay and Dr Gao Yu working in Sichuan Province

Professor Zeng Wei Yue, Dr Suzanne Belton and staff assessing hospitals in Sichuan Province

CDU’s Professor Lesley Barclay and Dr Suzanne Belton returned from China recently after four weeks of field work.

Professor Barclay and Dr Belton were visiting China to investigate maternal health outcomes in two China provinces.

Issues such as the management of normal pregnancy, quality of maternal health care, emergency obstetric care and maternal deaths were analysed as part of their research.

The research uses the World Health Organization’s Safe Motherhood Needs Analysis, which has been updated and modified for China’s unique situation and also translated into Mandarin.

Gao Yu, a CDU PhD student, is also working on the research and has just begun her related fieldwork in Shanxi Province.

“This research is progressing extremely well. We have audited five hospitals and interviewed many doctors, midwives and patients. We are also seeing further opportunities for new areas of operations style research and strong collaborations,” Professor Barclay said.

“China is a dynamic country which has enthusiastically embraced modern forms of medicine. Maternal health care is one area in which this is causing some problems with rates of caesarean section around 60% in a number of these hospitals.”

The research is funded by the Australian Research Council.