Evaluation of the maternal and child health aide training programme in Sierra Leone

News article 29 Mar 2017
 Florence Bull, Technical Officer at CMNH Sierra Leone

CMNH delivers findings from a review of the Maternal and Child Health Aide programme at the 8th Annual Sierra Leone Health and Biomedical Research Association (HBIOMED) Symposium.

The CMNH Sierra Leone team participated in the 8th annual Health and Biomedical Research Symposium held in Freetown, which aims to encourage, support and increase the development of local health, biomedical and behavioural research capacity in Sierra Leone. The theme for this year’s meeting was “Towards Universal Health for all in Sierra Leone”.

Participants included academics, researchers, clinicians and undergraduates from Sierra Leone, the USA, the UK, Europe, INGOs and the UN. The symposium themes related to field epidemiology, maternal, child and reproductive health and non-communicable and neglected tropical diseases.

Florence Bull, CMNH Sierra Leone Technical Officer, presented results from an evaluation of the maternal and child health aide (MCHA) training programme to strengthen pre-service training for skilled birth attendance under the theme of maternal and child health.

MCHAs deliver over 45 % of maternal and newborn care and therefore play an important role in reducing maternal and newborn mortality. Findings from the study show that task shifting and the introduction of new cadres of health care workers needs to be fully funded and supported at national and district level if a quality teaching and learning environment is to be provided which generates graduates who can meet the health care demands in Sierra Leone. The session was moderated by Dr S.A.S Kargbo Director DPPI, Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
The presentation was well received by delegates and post presentation discussion focused on:

  • The need for CMNH to conduct further research now that new cadre of nurse/midwife technicians has been introduced to provide MNH care in the community.
  • How does the perceived lack of autonomy in administration of the MCHA schools by the MCHA District coordinators connect with ineffective decentralization of health care in the districts?