Accountability and Generating Evidence for Global Health: Misoprostol in Nepal
Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Nepal. Compounded by the remote terrain, endemic poverty, and a lack of access to health facilities, the use of misoprostol has advantages over the standard use of oxytocin for PPH management. Drawing on our qualitative study of a pilot intervention managed by the Nepal Family Health Programme, we map the institutional relationships involved in the design, implementation, and practices for bringing misoprostol into national policy. In the intense and competitive global and national policy arena, sustained lobbying and getting the ‘right people’ on board were as powerful drivers as the quality of the intervention itself. The case study takes us to the heart of the debate around the politics of generation of evidence for interventions in global health programmes, and ultimately the question of accountability for health policy and practice.