Fifty nurses, midwives and community health workers (CHWs), yesterday, received certificates after completing a three-month course in maternal healthcare in Southern Province.
The training, dubbed “Maternal and neo-natal blended learning course,” sought to promote mother and child health, as a way of consolidating the gains made in meeting the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals of improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.
The trainees are expected to impart the knowledge acquired to other health workers in their areas of operation to help reduce child mortality rate, which currently stands at 54 per 1,000 live births, and maternal mortality of 291 per 100,000, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.
Esperance Ndenga, the coordinator of Human Resource for Health Programme at the Ministry of Health, said mother and child health is a priority for the country.
She urged midwives, CHWs and nurses to ensure mothers and children enjoy good health, adding that although maternal and mortality rate in the country have declined significantly, there are still some challenges to tackle.
“At the community level, there is delay in detecting the kinds of complications that come up during pregnancy while others still opt for traditional medicine. At the health centre, there is delay in making quality diagnosis, insufficient follow up on women during labour, and insufficient equipment,” Ndenga said.
The modules covered focused on antenatal care; following up on the health of a mother from conception to delivery, labour and birth; tackling issues affecting mother after delivery including postpartum haemorrhage; and best ways to care for the health of newborn and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
“We refreshed our knowledge and sharpened our skills and we are going to apply what we learned in order to improve the quality of care we offer so as to reduce maternal and child mortality rate,” said Colette Nibayavuge, a midwife at Kaduha Hospital in Nyamagabe District.
Dr Donatilla Mukamana, the dean of School of Nurses and Midwifery, at University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences, said the trainees will work with health counsellors at community level to ensure that cases of maternal health are identified earlier and solved in time.
The training was facilitated by Health (e) Families Project, a three-year project that seeks to improve on current maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity rates in Southern Province.
The Health (e) Foundation was founded in 2003 with headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
A similar intake is slated for July.