The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) has conducted a study to determine how well knowledge and skills are retained after “skills and drills” training in Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC). The study includes data from 6 countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, and is the largest, multi-country, well-designed longitudinal study in sub-Saharan Africa. The findings are published in PLoS ONE: Retention of knowledge and skills after Emergency Obstetric Care training: A multi-country longitudinal study.
CMNH has delivered “skills and drills” training in Emergency Obstetric Care to over 30,000 healthcare providers in 20 countries. This study, which was conducted between May and November 2013, involved over 600 maternity care providers from 6 of these countries. Their knowledge and skills in Emergency Obstetric Care was assessed before and immediately after training, and then at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months following the training course. The change in knowledge and skills at each of these time points was measured.
The results reveal that baseline knowledge and skills of maternity care providers varied across these 6 countries. Average knowledge scores were lowest in Tanzania, and highest among healthcare providers in Malawi and Kenya, and average skills scores were highest in Malawi and lowest among nurse midwives in Nigeria and mid-level staff in Kenya.
The study also showed that training increased both knowledge and skills; immediately after training, participants scored 30.8% better in knowledge tests and 59.8% in skills on average. 3 months after training, these increases reduced, but scores in both knowledge and skills were still higher than before training.
In terms of retention, the results revealed that an increase in both skills and knowledge was retained for 12 months after the initial training. The study also emphasises the importance of regular training; attendance at subsequent “skills and drills” sessions was associated with statistically significant retention of EmOC skills.
“Our emergency obstetric ‘skills and drills’ training package improves the capacity of maternity care providers to provide good quality care, and regular ‘skills and drills’ sessions are essential to prolong this effect.”