Pediatricians and other medical practitioners have been called upon to embrace research and collaborate professionally if they are to improve maternal health.
This was during a neonatal and pediatric symposium held under the theme “Rwanda neonatal and Pediatric nurses: ‘A quest for improved neonatal and pediatric outcome”.
It was organised this week by the master’s students in neonatal and pediatric nursing at University of Rwanda in collaboration with Training, Support and Access Model for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (TSAM), aimed at building awareness in health professionals about the current neonatal and pediatric findings and evidence-based practices which are feasible in Rwanda healthcare settings toward SDG3 target 2.
Madelaine Mukeshimana, the head of nursing department at University of Rwanda, noted that the University has a mandate to train highly qualified health professionals and conduct research in community welfare.
“Masters students are conducting their research and, from their findings, there are still some problems in pediatric care. The mortality rate should continually be reduced with strict prevention of neonatal preventable death, and caring for all children towards better outcome. Irrespective of their academic levels, all medical practitioners should conduct research as well as work collaboratively to identify gaps in health care provision,” she said.
Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS) conducted in 2014 to 2015 indicate that under-five child mortality rate had reduced to 50/1000 and neonatal mortality of 20/1000 (NISR at al,2015).
Prof. David Cechetto, the project director of the TSAM Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Assessment that sponsors research conducted by the students, noted that among the purposes of the research is to assess the activities in the domain of maternal health so that they can contribute to updating the health strategy.
“Most of the research is conducted at the community level. When we conduct these trainings, we try to see if there is increase in knowledge and if there is change in clinical practice and there is good outcome.”
“One of the prospects is interprofessional collaboration. We encourage team work and a collaborative approach which was well received and had a good impact,” he said.
The University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences is training the first cohort of Master of Science in Nursing with specialisation in Neonatal and Paediatric Nursing with a total of 34 students (14 neonatal and 20 pediatric).
It is expected that, after completion of their training, graduates from the first cohort will join health care system with specialised skills in the provision of quality health care to new born and paediatric population.