Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Groups & Projects Working Groups Research Qualmat QUALMAT


Current evidence suggests that the poor quality, rather than the lacking quantity, of health care services should form the main tenant of health policy and action in developing countries. Recently considerable interest has arisen in the potential of health information technology to improve the quality and safety of population health. 

The QUALMAT research project (Quality of Maternal and Prenatal Care: Bridging the Know-do Gap) funded as part of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union (grant agreement 22982) is a collaboration between six partners in Europe and Africa. The overall objective of this research is to improve the motivation and performance of health workers and ultimately the quality of pre-natal and maternal care services.

The intervention packages include the development and implementation of a system of performance based incentives and a computer-assisted clinical decision support system (CDSS) based on WHO guidelines. The interventions are evaluated in a pre-post controlled study design in rural Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania between 2009-2014.  

For more information, please visit the web site of the QUALMAT project:

Consortium Partners

  • Heidelberg University, Germany - Institute of Global Health (Principle Investigator: Prof. Rainer Sauerborn) and
    Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology (Principle investigator: Prof. Walter-Emil Haefeli)
  • Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna, Burkina Faso (Principle Investigator: Ali Sié)
  • Ghent University, Belgium (Principle Investigator: Els Duysburgh, MD, MPH)
  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania (Principle Investigator: Prof. M. Leshabari)
  • Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana (Principle Investigator: Dr. John Williams)
  • Karolinska Institute, Sweden (Principle Investigator: Prof. Göran Tomson)


Project Coordinator:   Prof. Rainer Sauerborn (rainer.sauerborn@urz.uni-heidelberg.de)
Project Manager:         Dr. Svetla Loukanova (svetla.loukanova@urz.uni-heidelberg.de)
Finance Manager:        Angela Häfner (haefner@uni-heidelberg.de)

PhD students within the project

Work Package 3:
Ms. Afua Williams (Ghana)- The impact of skilled birth attendance on maternal mortality and morbidity in northern Ghana. Supervisors: Dr. Els Duysburgh

Work Package 4:
Mr. Maxwell Dalaba (Ghana)- Cost-effectiveness of Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) in improving prenatal and maternal care in Ghana. Supervisors:  Prof. Rainer Sauerborn, Dr. Svetla Loukanova

Ms. Hapiness Saronga (Tanzania)- Improving Pre-natal and Maternal Care in Lindi and Mtwara Regions in Tanzania: An Economic Evaluation of the Proposed Provider Incentive Scheme and the Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS). Supervisors:  Prof. Rainer Sauerborn, Dr. Svetla Loukanova

Work Package 5:
Ms. Helen Prytherch (Germany)- Influences on, and measurement of MNH provider motivation in low- income settings. Supervisor: Prof. Rainer Sauerborn

Ms. Gifty Gariba Aninanya (Ghana)- The effects of non-financial incentives on motivation and performance of reproductive health professionals in the Kassena Nankana Districts of Northern Ghana. Supervisor: Kwame Nkrumah

Work Package 6:
Dr. Maurice Ye (Burkina Faso)- Performance based-incentives schemes for Health care providers in rural Nouna Health District: Design, Implementation and effects on maternal and neonatal care results in  Nouna Health District, Burkina Faso. Supervisor: Prof. Rainer Sauerborn

Work Package 7:
Mr. Alphonse Zakane (Burkina Faso)- Monitoring health impact of the utilization of CDSS for safe maternal and childhood health care management. Supervisors: Prof. Lars Gustafsson, Prof. Göran Tomson

Mr. Nathan Mensah (Ghana)- Effect of Clinical decision Support System on workflow processes and maternal health outcomes in rural northern Ghana. Supervisors: Prof. Walter E. Haefeli, Dr. Antje Blank

Mr. Felix Sukums (Tanzania)- Training strategies and opportunities of a Computerized Clinical Decision Support System for Maternal and Neonatal Care in Rural Districts in Tanzania. Supervisors: Prof. Walter E. Haefeli, Dr. Antje Blank

Selected publications

Baker U ,Tomson G, Somé M, Kouyaté B, Williams J, Mpembeni R Blank A, Gustafsson LL, Eriksen J. How to know what you need to do': a cross-country comparison of maternal health guidelines in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania. Implement Sci. 2012 Apr 13;7(1):31.

Prytherch H, Leshabari M, Wiskow C, Aninanya G, Kakoko D, Kagoné M, Burghardt J, Kynast-Wolf G, Marx M, Sauerborn R. The challenges of developing an instrument to assess health provider motivation at primary care level in rural Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania. Glob Health Action 2012, 5: 19120.

Prytherch H, Kakoko DCV, Leshabari MT, Sauerborn R, Marx M. Maternal and newborn health care providers in rural Tanzania: in-depth interviews exploring influences on motivation, performance and job satisfaction. Rural and Remote Health 2012; 2072; 20.

Duysburgh E, Zhang Wei-Hong, Ye M, Williams A, Massawe S, Sié A, Williams J, Mpembeni R, Loukanova S, Temmerman M (2013) Quality of Antenatal and Childbirth Care in Selected Rural Districts in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania: Similar Finding. Tropical Medicine & International Health (In press).