Recent research in South Africa examined public health service policy and clinical practice guidelines related to the management and care for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in women both during and after pregnancy. The qualitative analysis derived its data from 11 in-depth interviews from a mix of clinicians, policy-makers, public health specialists, and health service managers; as well as policy and clinical guideline documents.
The results highlighted the referral pathways within the public health system for women with GDM, and it showed that interrupted continuation of care was a health service barrier for adequate management of GDM particularly for postpartum women. Participants also echoed the issue of lacking follow-up for the disease in the postpartum period.
The document review revealed that health facilities followed international, national, and provincial guidelines for GDM screening, diagnosis, and management during pregnancy. However, the review identified a lack of standardized GDM care in the post-natal period especially at the primary care level. For detailed information about this research, click here.