Midwives trained in leadership to transform maternal healthcare across Africa
Amref Health Africa today announced the conclusion of training of additional midwives in a leadership, management and governance (LMG) course for midwifery service managers, with a total of 99 midwives trained.
The announcement was made at Amref Headquarters during an elaborate event aimed at sharing successes with partners and donors, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The aim of the course is to enable every manager of midwifery services to become agents of transformative leadership so as to realize better maternal and newborn and child health outcomes in the region.
The course, which began in 2013, has been jointly implemented by Amref Health Africa and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and has reached a wide geographical reach due to the blended eLearning course. The course covers 10 countries, including: Kenya, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Rwanda.
The leadership, management and governance course is a certificate course for midwifery service managers in both public and private sectors. The unique component of this training course is that after theoretical instruction, the trainees apply use of the challenge model to identify gaps that are locally affecting their provision of maternal newborn and child health services.
After identifying the gaps the trainees develop a 6 month action plan to fill the gaps. They use resource mobilisation skills acquired from LMG training to raise resource for implementation of their action plans.
“The training is unique because it allows the trainees to not only identify the challenges they face, but also mobilize the resources to solve them. This allows them to own the entire process and personally champion change in their communities,” said Dr Peter Ngatia, Director of Capacity Building at Amref Health Africa.
The programme’s approach of entrenching local ownership of maternal and child health services has received acclaim from the UNFPA for its role in driving visible and measurable change. The UNFPA came on board and funded training of additional 58 midwifery managers.
“The project has proven successful in Kenya and other regions where it has been implemented. We chase measurable results and, where possible, community engagement. That is why we funded the upscaling of the project,” said Dr Dan Okoro, Programme Specialist at the UNFPA.
The skills imparted in the course include: Leadership, Management and Governance practices; human resource management including staff motivation; situation analysis; problem solving using the challenge model; resource mobilisation and budgeting; mentorship and coaching; interpersonal communication; and strategic planning.
Fifty representatives from the East, Central and Southern African College of Nursing (ECSACON) shared lessons learnt since inception of the project. Seven midwifery managers out of the 99 trained were selected to present their quality improvement projects. Also in attendance were directors as well as registrars of nursing and midwifery from selected countries in the region.
Best practices were disseminated at the event, including approval of a Leadership Management and Governance abstract for oral presentation at the Health Systems Research Conference in Canada in November 2016.