Tuesday 28 March 2023

What does ChatGPT know about Maternal Health?

 ChatGPT is a phenomenon that is causing both concern and excitement in academic circles.  The concern is about students being tempted to use the AI to write their essays.  The excitement is about students learning to critique what the AI program writes in response to questions.  There is also conversations about whether AI can mark students assignments!  I enjoyed reading this article by Mark Schaefer on Medium outlining 20 Entertaining Uses of ChatGPT You Never Knew Were Possible. 

I like asking the AI questions, to see what comes up.  I am teaching a course about Global Maternal Health so thought I'd ask it "what's happening with Global Maternal Health".  The response was: 

Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. While progress has been made in improving maternal health globally, there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths occur in low-income countries, and the majority of them are due to complications such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure, and unsafe abortions.

In addition to the high maternal mortality rates, many women also suffer from complications and long-term health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth, such as obstetric fistula, which can cause incontinence and social stigma.

To address these issues, efforts are being made to improve access to quality maternal healthcare services, including skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, and family planning. The WHO has set a target of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio by at least 70% by 2030, and many countries are working towards this goal.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on maternal health, with disruptions to healthcare services and increased health risks for pregnant women. It is essential to continue prioritizing maternal health and to address the ongoing challenges and inequalities that affect women's health and well-being globally.

A reasonable overview but no mention of the Sustainable Development Goals, although the WHO goal to reduce maternal mortality ratio by 2030 is a nod in their direction. 

I then asked 'What can we do locally to improve maternal health?' The response was: 

Improving maternal health requires a multi-faceted approach that involves various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, policymakers, community organizations, and individuals. Here are some actions that can be taken locally to improve maternal health:

  1. Increase access to quality maternal healthcare services: Pregnant women should have access to affordable and high-quality healthcare services, including antenatal care, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, and postnatal care.

  2. Promote maternal health education: Educating women and their families about healthy pregnancy practices, including proper nutrition, exercise, and prenatal care, can help prevent complications and improve maternal and fetal health.

  3. Address social and economic factors: Social and economic factors, such as poverty, lack of education, and gender inequality, can impact maternal health. Addressing these factors through programs that promote economic empowerment, education, and gender equality can improve maternal health outcomes.

  4. Encourage family planning: Access to family planning services can help women plan and space their pregnancies, which can reduce the risk of maternal and infant mortality.

  5. Support community-based initiatives: Community-based initiatives, such as support groups for pregnant women, can help provide emotional support, promote healthy practices, and address cultural and social barriers to maternal healthcare.

  6. Advocate for policy change: Advocating for policies that promote maternal health, such as laws that improve access to healthcare services and promote gender equality, can help improve maternal health outcomes.

By taking these actions, individuals and organizations can work towards improving maternal health locally and contribute to the global effort to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity

Again, a good general response. Interestingly skilled birth attendants are mentioned but not continuity of midwifery care which actually has been found to tick all the boxes outlined in the list of the multifaceted approach.  The Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) focused on the provision of skilled birth attendants and in terms of global maternal health, the ratio has worsened in many regions. 

So I asked "how can continuity of midwifery care contribute to global maternal health? 

This was the response: 

Continuity of midwifery care refers to the provision of care by the same midwife or a small group of midwives throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. This approach has been shown to have several benefits for maternal and newborn health, including:

  1. Improved outcomes: Continuity of midwifery care has been associated with reduced rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality. It can also reduce the need for interventions such as cesarean (US spelling) section and epidural anesthesia (US spelling).

  2. Improved maternal satisfaction: Women who receive continuity of midwifery care report higher levels of satisfaction with their care, as they develop a relationship of trust and familiarity with their midwife.

  3. Cost-effective: Continuity of midwifery care has been shown to be cost-effective, as it reduces the need for interventions and hospitalizations.

  4. Increased access: By providing care in the community, continuity of midwifery care can increase access to care for women who live in rural or remote areas.

Implementing continuity of midwifery care can be challenging, especially in low-resource settings where there may be a shortage of midwives or other healthcare providers. However, this approach can contribute to improving maternal health globally by providing women with high-quality, personalized care that addresses their individual needs and preferences. It can also help reduce the global burden of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, particularly in low-income countries where access to quality maternal healthcare services may be limited.

Rather good overview by ChatGPT of continuity of midwifery care, don't you think?  If ChatGPT knows the benefits, then we must make sure that our politicians and policy makers know too.