“I Made Some Changes”: A Nurse/Midwife’s Experience with Leadership and Management Training

Sarah DwyerThis post originally appeared on the Maternal Health Task Force blog as part of the “Supporting the Human in Human Resources” blog series cohosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and Jacaranda Health.

“Things were really a bit appalling.”

That’s what conditions at her rural health center felt like to Habiba Shaban Agong, a senior nursing officer and midwife in Uganda.

She says she loves her profession. “In midwifery I do a lot,” she adds proudly. “I help mothers in carrying out their pregnancies. During deliveries I help them to conduct live babies—to make a better future.” But it pained her that her facility wasn’t able to deliver the high quality of services the community deserved.

For starters, there weren’t nearly enough health workers to meet the demand. Each department had only “about one human resource working day and night,” Habiba says. “They get exhausted, and that can hinder service delivery.” Read more »

Out of Midwifery School and Hard at Work

This post originally appeared on IntraHealth International’s Tumblr.

Now that smile is contagious!

Rosaline Osanebi delivered these beautiful twins during her clinical rotation at the Zuma Memorial School of Midwifery in Edo State, Nigeria.

She’s one of 2,065 students who earned scholarships from CapacityPlus. Read more »

A Day in the Life of a Rural Midwife

This post originally appeared on VITAL, the blog of IntraHealth International.

I wonder if the midwives I have met and worked with in rural East and Southern Africa know that today is the International Day of the Midwife. 

In their honor, I wish to share the typical working day of one midwife I’ve observed. I’ll call her Jane. How does her day compare to yours? Read more »

The Winds of Change

Amanda PuckettThe Harmattan is a dry and dusty wind that blows right over Nigeria from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea. During my recent trip to Abuja, the Harmattan was nearly ending and the dust was beginning to lift its cloud over the city, making way for clear and sunny days. I thought this was a perfect analogy for CapacityPlus’s work supporting preservice education for midwifery and community health workers in the country.

Just outside of Abuja at the School of Midwifery FCT Gwagalada, I had the opportunity to meet with 19 midwifery students, each a beneficiary of a scholarship provided by CapacityPlus to assist with tuition fees for their third and final year of training. Read more »

Answering the Call for More Nigerian Midwives

Amanda Puckett“The world needs more midwives now more than ever,” said the Honorable Minister of Health of Nigeria, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate. On May 6, Pate was joined by stakeholders and international development partners, including CapacityPlus/Nigeria’s Chief of Party Sam Ngobua, to celebrate the 2013 International Day of Midwives.

Hosted by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives and the Commission for Professional Midwives of Nigeria, the celebration featured the Honorable Minister of Health Pate, who encouraged women to take up the profession of midwifery and develop interests in maternal advocacy at all levels. Read more »

Nine Reasons We Place Health Workers at the Center of Our Efforts

Maureen KanyiginyaMaureen Kanyiginya is a young midwife with a gentle and confident presence. Sitting on a bench in a grassy area outside the rural health center where she works, in western Uganda’s Kabarole District, she looks into the camera and states, “I’m a health worker.” She says she loves mothers, and it’s easy to see how sincere she is. “I really love delivering these babies,” she adds quietly. “I make mothers comfortable.”

Her calm demeanor contrasts with the serious challenges she faces in her job. The facility where she works has no power, so she conducts her deliveries with a small lantern. She lacks the proper instruments to do her job well, and often doesn’t have the drugs that mothers need, due to stockouts. Her personal safety is also a concern. “Sometimes I walk alone in the night from my house to the unit,” she shares. Read more »

Nursing and Midwifery Education in Ethiopia: Ensuring Professional Capacity and Relevance

Rachel DeussomIt has been estimated that sub-Saharan Africa needs 600,000 additional nurses just to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The United States Government’s Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) is designed to strengthen the quality and capacity of nursing and midwifery education systems in sub-Saharan African countries, to increase the number of well-qualified nurses and midwives, and to support innovative retention strategies. Nurses and midwives are integral to health systems, providing care to underserved areas and filling in where and when doctors are in short supply. CapacityPlus is proud to be a NEPI partner, providing analysis and technical support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. Read more »

A Midwife Crisis

“If we want to stop these women and babies dying, we need to invest in skilled care,” declared Flavia Bustreo, assistant director-general of family and community health at the World Health Organization. Bustreo’s declaration came on the heels of the release of the WHO’s State of the World’s Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives. In an effort to facilitate the strengthening of midwifery education and service delivery, the report features data collected from 58 developed and developing countries and makes recommendations on how to improve access to midwives.  
Midwifery challenges
The term “midwife” literally means “being with the woman.” Midwifery care is essential in improving maternal health, reducing the likelihood of a woman’s death during childbirth, and reducing newborn deaths. The State of the World’s Midwifery report notes that 358,000 women and 3.6 million newborns die each year from complications in the neonatal, delivery, and postnatal periods. The report clearly cites that these deaths are largely preventable. Read more »

Live from Uganda: Field Testing a Rapid Assessment Tool to Improve Health Worker Retention

CapacityPlus Program Officer Laura Wurts is traveling in Uganda for three weeks and shared some of her experiences in the field thus far.

Mbarara UniversityPlease tell us about the purpose of this trip to Uganda, and where will you be working.
CapacityPlus is field testing a rapid assessment tool for determining priority retention interventions for costing to inform Ministry of Health policy-making to improve attraction and retention of health workers in rural and remote areas. While in Uganda, we expect to survey 500-600 people. The sample will include both final-year students and practicing health workers in four cadres: medical officers, nursing officers, pharmacists, and lab techs.

We will collect data in Kampala, Jinja, 10 districts around Mbarara town, and 10 districts around Gulu town. Specific universities include Makere University, Mbarara University for Science and Technology, Gulu University, and Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery. Read more »

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