Study confirms EmONC training improves knowledge and skills in Africa and Asia

News article 5 Jan 2017
Mother, baby and child resting on a blanket in the shade

A recent study confirms that short in-service emergency obstetric care and newborn care (EmOC&NC) training is associated with improved knowledge and skills, for all cadres of healthcare providers working in both sub-Saharan Africa & Asia.

This study assessed change in knowledge and skills of healthcare providers designated to provide skilled birth attendance (SBA) and EmOC across nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia after implementation of a standardised EmOC training package and explored factors associated with changes in knowledge and skills for different cadres and settings and for specific components of the training including management of haemorrhage, sepsis, (pre-) eclampsia, obstructed labour, assisted vaginal delivery and newborn resuscitation. The counties included Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe in Africa and Bangladesh and Pakistan in Asia.

In total, 5,939 healthcare providers took part in the knowledge and skills testing before and after EmOC training. Almost all participants (99.7%; 4,951 of 4,965) demonstrated an improvement in overall score following the EmOC training. Based on median scores, before training the participants' knowledge score was higher than the skills score (70.0% vs 51.9%), but improvement in skills scores was higher than in knowledge scores (28.8% vs 10.0%). Country and cadre were most associated with both pre-training results and changes post training, while years of experience, teaching responsibilities were also relevant for explaining the changes.