New life-saving skills laboratory opens in Kwara state, Nigeria

News article 26 Mar 2018
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A new skills laboratory which trains healthcare providers in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC&NC) has opened in Kwara state, Nigeria. It is part of a programme led by experts from the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health, Johnson & Johnson and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) that aims to improve care and end preventable deaths of mothers and babies. The new lab was officially reopened by WBFA Founder-President, H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki last month. It will enable master trainers and skilled lab coordinators to train healthcare providers in essential EmOC&NC knowledge and skills. Once trained, the lab will allow these healthcare providers to continue to practice and hone their skills.

CMNH has supported capacity strengthening in EmOC&NC and quality improvement in Kwara State since 2015, as shown in this short film. This new lab joins 8 existing skills labs set up across 7 of the 16 local government areas of Kwara State. Across 21 healthcare facilities, these labs and the wider programme have been used to train:

  • 50 master trainers and skills lab coordinators
  • 290 healthcare providers in EmOC&NC
  • 88 healthcare providers in quality improvement

Over the past 3 years, the programme has increased the availability and quality of care in these facilities, leading to fewer mothers and babies dying. Doctors and midwives have improved their skills in managing postpartum haemorrhage using uterine tamponade with condom and catheter, which has significantly reduced the need for blood transfusions or referral of patients. Midwives have also improved their skills in conducting vaginal breech delivery and assisted vaginal delivery. Health care providers involved in this training reported:

  • Increased confidence to manage emergencies (evidenced by less morbidity)
  • Improved team communication
  • Better follow up of patients after they have been referred

The wide-reaching success of this programme will now be rolled out further. Starting in May 2018, CMNH will work with Johnson & Johnson and WBFA to extend and scale up the achievements so far. Between 2018-2020, EmOC&NC training will be delivered to an additional 27 health care facilities in the remaining 9 local government areas of Kwara state. Over 600 health care providers will benefit directly from the interventions and over the 30 month project, an estimated 62,900 women and their newborns will benefit from the interventions implemented.

Hauwa Mohammed, Senior Technical Officer, Nigeria Office, The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health:
“Our competency-based EmOC&NC training is evidenced-based, short and practical and is well accepted in the 7 Local Government Areas of Kwara state we have worked so far. Having skills rooms in the facilities has awakened the need for in service training of health workers through regular Continuous Medical Education - this process is now established in all facilities that have the skills room.”   

Dr Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Centre of Maternal & Newborn Health:
“The CMNH LSTM programme in Nigeria has been successfully implemented and evaluated through Johnson and Johnson’s support, for Sustainable Development Goal number 3. Our partnership with WBF Africa and the Kwara state MoH has been very effective; more skilled health care workers have access to regular ‘skills and drills’ EmOC training, more women and newborns have access to quality MNH care and midwifery education and training has been strengthened. Over the next 30 months we will focus on improving the quality of comprehensive EmOC and evaluate the effectiveness of our approach”