Building capacity of skilled birth attendants in Kenya

News article 7 Oct 2019

In August 2019, the LSTM Kenya Team, and Terry Kana and Dr Helen Allott from the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH), delivered a set of four training courses to skilled birth attendants (SBAs) in Kilifii, Kenya. The training was designed to build up the clinical skills of the SBAs in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) and strengthen their teaching skills. The participants were from 5 counties in Kenya: Garissa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Uasin Gishu & Vihiga.

Two of the courses focused on Training of Trainers, where participants had the opportunity to refresh their own knowledge and skills in EmONC. They also were able to gain confidence in facilitating the EmONC “skills and drills” course, which they could later deliver to colleagues and peers in their home counties. Participants practiced teaching skills and honed their ability to give constructive feedback. They also developed their competency to facilitate scenario-based learning, for example assessing unwell women and how to manage clients presenting with pre-eclampsia or haemorrhage.

To further build capacity in the five counties, two additional courses were then delivered by the team. These courses were designed to train the skilled birth attendants in how to conduct quality assurance and how to become Course Directors. During this training, participants learnt more about the management and leadership of the EmONC courses, how to ensure the quality of the courses, and how to assess the quality of other courses.

Terry Kana, Senior Research Associate and Dr Helen Allott, Senior Technical Officer at CMNH who delivered the training:
“The participants were very enthusiastic and keen to apply the skills they had learnt, to enhance the quality of EmONC courses they will now deliver in their home counties.”

There was positive feedback from participants following the training; for example, comments after the Training of Trainers refresher course included:

  • “The course directors were very friendly and knowledgeable and know the skills very well”
  • “Provision of new updated materials was excellent”
  • “I learnt about management of sepsis in a sequential manner”
  • “I was refreshed on breech presentation, shoulder dystocia management”
  •  “I learnt that for one to facilitate learning, or teach or give lecture, he or she need to be knowledgeable, confident and interactive”

These trainings were part of the DFID Kenya funded Maternal and Newborn Health programme.