On 29 August 2015, a multidisciplinary faculty of O&G consultants, trainees, midwives and a project manager set out for Kitovu Hospital, Uganda to spend two weeks delivering the training course, Excellence in: Obstetric Skills.
The faculty reached the health facility on Sunday 30 August and spent the following day preparing the equipment, models, lectures and trainee manuals for the delegates’ arrival. Each course was three days of intensive learning for the delegates and included:
- Discussion groups
- Practical hands-on workshops
- Lived experiences from fistula patients
- Simulated emergency scenarios to put their knowledge to the test in a pressurised environment
The two-year initiative plans to train Ugandan midwives, nurses and doctors in emergency obstetric management with a focus on preventing the onset of obstetric fistula. The future goal is for training to be delivered almost entirely by local Ugandan trainers.
During week one, 22 delegates attended the course from health centres of varying sizes from around the region. They shared their experiences of delivering health care to women in a rural setting with poor infrastructure and limited access to equipment and drugs. They told the RCOG faculty of problems referring patients to bigger centres where their families could not afford to pay for transport or instances of needing a doctor to take over but the doctor never arriving.
They successfully delivered lectures and hands-on training to the second cohort of delegates. Their enthusiasm to teach came across strongly and they explained to us that their other colleagues back in the centres were keen to support them to become trainers. The faculty asked eight health workers with an interest in teaching to come back after the course and learn to become trainers for course two.
One nurse, Proscovia, told the faculty – ‘a senior midwife said it would be beautiful for me to come back and teach the rest of (us) better care for mothers.’