Background: Preterm deliveries are the highest contributor (26%) to under-1 mortality rates among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. This places Lebanon in a critical state when it comes to achieving the third sustainable development goal. Yet current multidisciplinary health services do not ensure adequate care to prevent avoidable preterm deliveries among Syrian refugees.This has been aggravated by the lack of effective use of evidence in policymaking,which has a great toll on the health of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of the knowledge translation (KT) tools and platform (KTP) in influencing policy decisions on avoidable preterm deliveries among Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Methods: This study used the following KT tools:1) policy brief development to address avoidable preterm deliveries in Lebanon; 2) 15 focused meetings with content experts, policymakers and stakeholders; 3) convening a national policy dialogue; and, 4) evaluation of the policy brief and dialogue.
Results: Stakeholders were engaged to identify the key priorities to be tackled in relation to avoidable preterm deliveries.The feedback from the focused meetings fed into the development of the policy brief and ensured that the problem and options suggested are comprehensive and context specific.The policy brief was then sent to 22 policymakers and stakeholders including government officials, managers in non-governmental organisations,health professional associations,donor agencies and researchers.The policy dialogue supported the options proposed in the policy brief. Ensuring access to antenatal care and improving the quality of maternal health in primary healthcare centres were two of the most supported options.The dialogue evaluation showed that the policy brief informed the deliberations in the dialogue and the future decisions of policymakers and stakeholders.
Conclusions: KT tools are promising in informing decisions among policymakers and stakeholders, and in developing a research-policy interface. None the less, post-dialogue follow up is vital to ensure implementation of the decisions.