In October 2019, a new training course on Advanced Obstetric and Anaesthesia Skills was delivered to healthcare providers in Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties, Kenya. This five-day course was delivered by Kenyan Master Trainers, with support from the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH), as part of a DFID Kenya-funded programme. The Kenyan trainers had been trained to become Master Trainers in February 2019, when this course had first been introduced at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret.
The course aims to improve patient safety and quality of care for women who experience birth-related complications that require obstetric and anaesthetic input. It is suitable for specialist and resident obstetricians and Medical Officers involved in providing obstetric care. The training was developed in response to the findings of the Kenyan Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, which highlighted a disproportionately high death rate amongst women delivered by caesarean section. The Confidential Enquiry was conducted by the Ministry of Health, Kenya, with support from CMNH.
The multidisciplinary training takes participants on a journey, starting from decision making on the labour ward and obtaining informed consent, through preparation for surgery and safe theatre practice using the WHO Safe Surgical Checklist. It includes teaching on good surgical and anaesthetic practices for routine and complex cases, in-depth assisted vaginal delivery skills, third and fourth degree tear recognition and repair, comprehensive post-operative care, counselling of patients, audit of care quality and action planning. As part of the training, participants are supported to prioritise the changes they most wanted to implement in their facilities as a result of lessons learned, and are coached to make SMART action plans. The Master Trainers will provide on-going mentorship to support the implementation of these plans, which will be evaluated by CMNH.
Dr Helen Allott, Senior Technical Officer at CMNH: “This training reaches healthcare providers caring for the 15% of women who need interventions due to birth-related complications. It aims to promote the provision of high quality, safe, woman-centred, compassionate and evidence-based surgical and anaesthetic care from well-trained health workers”.
There are now plans to roll the course out further as part of this DFID-funded project by delivering courses in two additional counties in 2020.