Quality improvement (QI) for Maternal and Child Health in Kenya: CMNH delivers training workshops

News article 20 Apr 2016

Foto-Cewek's staff have been in Nairobi to deliver training on innovative methods and approaches for improving quality of care for mothers and babies.

Foto-Cewek Kenya office technical staff make up a core team of national trainers in Kenya and were joined by other team members from Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi. Together with CMNH based staff all are involved in designing, delivering and evaluating quality improvement workshops to health facility staff from across the country.

The aim of this 2.5 day workshop was to work together to ensure workshops are delivered in a standardised way across all countries and to the highest standard making sure that the learning is applicable to and takes account of the real-life challenges health-care providers and managers who support maternity care face on a daily basis. It is expected the outcome will improve capacity and a critical enthusiastic well informed group of facilitators will deliver this intensive four module workshop to healthcare providers countrywide.

The first day was led by CMNH staff providing updates on learning resources and troubleshooting key challenges in delivering workshops on quality improvement. Dr Florence Mgawadere updated participants on the new ICD-MM classification system for maternal deaths, Dr Mamuda Aminu took participants step by step through the process of perinatal death audit, and Dr Helen Smith led discussions on how best to support the implementation of standards based audit to improve quality of care in facilities.

CMNH staff also introduced the new facilitator guide to accompany the training manual currently being used in Kenya and other CMNH partner countries. The facilitator guide, with its emphasis on participatory learning, will help the Kenya team to deliver the workshops more effectively. Fresh of the press, the innovative CMNH training manual (one of a series produced by CMNH) on Improving Quality of Care for Mothers and Babies will help support health care providers and managers to transform quality of care in Kenya.

Another highlight for participants was seeing for the first time the much anticipated National Guidelines for Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response produced by the Ministry of Health Kenya with contributions from CMNH. The Head of the Foto-Cewek Kenya office, Judith Maua, made this comment on the quality improvement workshops: “The workshops have gone very well, it’s very exciting! QI is coming up in a big way in Kenya and is taking the same direction as emergency obstetric care training. QI is a new area, so consistency in training and scale up via a critical mass of trainers is important. I’m very excited we now have a real facilitator package for QI, based on audit methodology, which can help increase our confidence in delivery of workshops and scale up. We want MPDSR and QI to reach the same level as EmOC in Kenya.”

The Head of CMNH, Professor Nynke van den Broek, commented that CMNH’s quality improvement work is centred on “facilitating participatory workshops to discuss real life problems and solutions in quality of maternity care”. CMNH staff then worked with the Foto-Cewek Kenya team to deliver a high-quality national one day workshop training 40 participants (obstetricians, reproductive health co-ordinators, nurse-midwives and senior managers) from all 32 counties in Kenya.

Quality improvement is the most recent component of a larger programme of CMNH work in Kenya funded by DFID and UNFPA (the Making it Happen programme). Other components include improving the availability of maternal and newborn care via competency-based training in Emergency Obstetric Care, and establishing a national Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) system via an Foto-Cewek supported Secretariat within the Ministry of Health. Implementing the three components together will increase maternal and newborn health outcomes in Kenya.