Supporting Midwives in The Gambia to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes

Professor Beate Kampmann and the Vaccines & Immunity Theme hosted the 4th Annual Midwifery Training Programme at Fajara main site on 12th and 13th November 2018.

 The training programme was facilitated by Dr Beverly Donaldson (Postdoctoral Research Midwife, Imperial College London), Dr Olubukola Idoko (Paediatrician, MRCG at LSHTM) and Dr Anna Battersby (Paediatrician in Community Child Health, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust, London). The team were supported by a faculty of trainers including midwives from Imperial College Healthcare, London and local Obstetricians Dr Patrick Idoko and Dr Mustapha Bittaye and a number of MRCG at LSHTM Paediatricians.

Group photo of faculty trainers and midwife participants

 Day one of the training focused on midwifery. There were lectures on maternal and neonatal mortality, sepsis and the management of the high risk pregnancy in The Gambia. The afternoon was dedicated to emergency skills training in the management of eclampsia, postpartum haemorrhage and blood loss estimation.

 Running concurrently to the obstetric emergency skills stations was a lecture about healthcare associated infection and the importance of hand hygiene. In addition, there was an opportunity for all participants to openly discuss topics related to maternal and neonatal care.

 Day two focused on neonatal wellbeing and helping babies breathe, an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited countries. This is an American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) initiative in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

 The afternoon offered each midwife the opportunity to have their neonatal resuscitation skills assessed individually in a formal Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) setting.

 The team led by Dr Donaldson and her Midwife Faculty Colleagues Maggie Welch, Judith Robbins and Denise O’Donnell visited a selection of governmental maternity facilities which also participate in our clinical trials and research studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the training by meeting with the midwives from each establishment and then assessed their ability to lead the teaching in their own unit.

Dr Bukky Idoko and Midwife Judith Robbins teaching Helping Babies Breathe

 The training was sponsored by the Vaccines & Immunity Theme as part of the ongoing initiative of Emergency Midwifery Skills & Helping Babies Breathe which started five years ago and continues to strengthen our collaboration with the governmental facilities. We are grateful to the London team to make their time and expertise available to us.