Competence of health workers in emergency obstetric care: an assessment using clinical vignettes in Brong Ahafo region, Ghana.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:To assess health worker competence in emergency obstetric care using clinical vignettes, to link competence to availability of infrastructure in facilities, and to average annual delivery workload in facilities. DESIGN:Cross-sectional Health Facility Assessment linked to population-based surveillance data. SETTING:7 districts in Brong Ahafo region, Ghana. PARTICIPANTS:Most experienced delivery care providers in all 64 delivery facilities in the 7 districts. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Health worker competence in clinical vignette actions by cadre of delivery care provider and by type of facility. Competence was also compared with availability of relevant drugs and equipment, and to average annual workload per skilled birth attendant. RESULTS:Vignette scores were moderate overall, and differed significantly by respondent cadre ranging from a median of 70% correct among doctors, via 55% among midwives, to 25% among other cadres such as health assistants and health extension workers (p<0.001). Competence varied significantly by facility type: hospital respondents, who were mainly doctors and midwives, achieved highest scores (70% correct) and clinic respondents scored lowest (45% correct). There was a lack of inexpensive key drugs and equipment to carry out vignette actions, and more often, lack of competence to use available items in clinical situations. The average annual workload was very unevenly distributed among facilities, ranging from 0 to 184 deliveries per skilled birth attendant, with higher workload associated with higher vignette scores. CONCLUSIONS:Lack of competence might limit clinical practice even more than lack of relevant drugs and equipment. Cadres other than midwives and doctors might not be able to diagnose and manage delivery complications. Checking clinical competence through vignettes in addition to checklist items could contribute to a more comprehensive approach to evaluate quality of care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT00623337.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Despite much progress recently, Ethiopia remains one of the largest contributors to the global burden of maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. Ethiopia's plan to meet the sustainable development goals for maternal and child health includes unprecedented emphasis on improving quality of care. The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of midwifery care during labor, delivery and immediate postpartum period.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional study using multiple data collection methods and a 2-stage cluster sampling technique was conducted from January 25 to February 14, 2015 in government health facilities of the Amhara National Regional State of Ethiopia. Direct observation of performance was used to determine competence of midwives in providing care during labor, delivery, and the first 6 h after childbirth. Inventory of drugs, medical equipment, supplies, and infrastructure was conducted to identify availability of resources in health facilities. Structured interview was done to assess availability of resources and performance improvement opportunities. Data analysis involved calculating percentages, means and chi-square tests.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 150 midwives and 56 health facilities were included in the study. The performance assessment showed 16.5% of midwives were incompetent, 72.4% were competent, and 11.1% were outstanding in providing routine intrapartum care. Forty five midwives were observed while managing 54 obstetric and newborn complications and 41 (91%) of them were rated competent. Inventory of resources found that the proportion of facilities with more than 75% of the items in each category was 32.6% for drugs, 73.1% for equipment, 65.4% for supplies, 47.9% for infection prevention materials, and 43.6% for records and forms. Opportunities for performance improvement were inadequate, with 31.3% reporting emergency obstetric and newborn care training, and 44.7% quarterly or more frequent supportive supervision. Health centers fared worse in provider competence, physical resources, and quality improvement practices except for supportive supervision visits and in-service training.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although our findings indicate most midwives are competent in giving routine and emergency intrapartum care, the major gaps in the enabling environment and the significant proportion of midwives with unsatisfactory performance suggest that the conditions for providing quality intrapartum care are not optimal.
Project description:BACKGROUND: An evidence-based strategy exists to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality associated with severe pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (PE/E), but it may be difficult to implement in low-resource settings. This study examines whether facilities that provide emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) in Afghanistan have the capacity to manage severe PE/E cases. METHODS: A further analysis was conducted of the 2009-10 Afghanistan EmONC Needs Assessment. Assessors observed equipment and supplies available, and services provided at 78 of the 127 facilities offering comprehensive EmONC services and interviewed 224 providers. The providers also completed a written case scenario on severe PE/E. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize facility and provider characteristics. Student t-test, one-way ANOVA, and chi-square tests were performed to determine whether there were significant differences between facility types, doctors and midwives, and trained and untrained providers. RESULTS: The median number of severe PE/E cases in the past year was just 5 (range 0-42) at comprehensive health centers (CHCs) and district hospitals, compared with 44 (range 0-130) at provincial hospitals and 108 (range 32-540) at regional and specialized hospitals (p?<?0.001). Most facilities had the drugs and supplies needed to treat severe PE/E, including the preferred anticonvulsant, magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). One-third of the smallest facilities and half of larger facilities reported administering a second-line drug, diazepam, in some cases. In the case scenario, 96% of doctors and 89% of midwives recognized that MgSO4 should be used to manage severe PE/E, but 42% of doctors and 58% of midwives also thought diazepam had a role to play. Providers who were trained on the use of MgSO4 scored significantly higher than untrained providers on six of 20 items in the case scenario. Providers at larger facilities significantly outscored those at smaller facilities on five items. There was a significant difference between doctors and midwives on only one item: continued use of anti-hypertensives after convulsions are controlled. CONCLUSIONS: Drugs and supplies needed to treat severe PE/E are widely available at EmONC facilities in Afghanistan, but providers lack knowledge in some areas, especially concerning the use of MgSO4 and diazepam. Providers who have specialized training or work at larger facilities are better at managing cases of severe PE/E. The findings suggest a need to clarify service delivery guidelines, offer refresher training, and reinforce best practices with supervision and reinforcement.
Project description:Early identification and management of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) disorders helps to avert mental illness in adulthood but a CAMH treatment gap exists in Uganda. CAMH integration into primary health care (PHC) through in-service training of non-specialist health workers (NSHW) using the World Health Organisation (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guide (IG) is a strategy to address this gap. However, results of such training are not supported by information on training development or delivery; and are undifferentiated by NSHW cadre. We aim to describe an in-service CAMH training for NSHW in Uganda and assess cadre-differentiated learning outcomes.Thirty-six clinical officers, nurses and midwives from 18 randomly selected PHC clinics in eastern Uganda were trained for 5 days on CAMH screening and referral using a curriculum based on the mhGAP-IG version 1.0 and PowerPoint slides from the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP). The residential training was evaluated through pre- and post- training tests of CAMH knowledge and attitudes using the participants' post-test scores; and the difference between pre-test and post-test scores. Two-tailed t-tests assessed differences in mean pre-test and post-test scores between the cadres; hierarchical linear regression tested the association between cadre and post test scores; and logistic regression evaluated the relationship between cadre and knowledge gain at three pre-determined cut off points.Thirty-three participants completed both pre-and post-tests. Improved mean scores from pre- to post-test were observed for both clinical officers (20% change) and nurse/midwives (18% change). Clinical officers had significantly higher mean test scores than nurses and midwives (p < 0.05) but cadre was not significantly associated with improvement in CAMH knowledge at the 10% (AOR 0.08; 95 CI [0.01, 1.19]; p = 0.066), 15% (AOR 0.16; 95% CI [0.01, 2.21]; p = 0.170), or 25% (AOR 0.13; 95% CI [0.01, 1.74]; p = 0.122) levels.We aimed to examine CAMH learning outcomes by NSHW cadre. NSHW cadre does not influence knowledge gain from in-service CAMH training. Thus, an option for integrating CAMH into PHC in Uganda using the mhGAP-IG and IACAPAP PowerPoint slides is to proceed without cadre differentiation.
Project description:AIM:To clarify the status of personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests for pregnant women, we conducted an urgent survey. METHODS:The survey was conducted online from April 27 to May 1, 2020. Questionnaires were sent to core facilities and affiliated hospitals of the obstetrics and gynecology training program and to hospitals of the national perinatal medical liaison council. RESULTS:A total of 296 institutions participated in our survey; however, 2 institutions were excluded. Full PPE was used by doctors in 7.1% of facilities and by midwives in 6.8%. Our study also determined that around 65.0% of facilities for doctors and 73.5% of facilities for midwives used PPE beyond the "standard gown or apron, surgical mask, goggles or face shield" during labor of asymptomatic women. N95 masks were running out of stock at 6.5% of the facilities and goggles and face shields at 2.7%. Disposable N95 masks and goggles or face shields were re-used after re-sterilization in 12% and 14% of facilities, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of asymptomatic patients was performed for 9% of vaginal deliveries, 14% of planned cesarean sections and 17% of emergency cesarean sections. The number of PCR tests for obstetrics and gynecology per a week ranged from zero to five in 92% of facilities. CONCLUSION:The shortage of PPE in Japan is alarming. Sufficient stockpiling of PPE is necessary to prevent unnecessary disruptions in medical care. Appropriate guidelines for PPE usage and COVID-19 testing of pregnant women at delivery are needed in Japan.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Considerable attention has been given by policy makers and researchers to the human resources for health crisis in Africa. However, little attention has been paid to quantifying health facility-level trends in health worker numbers, distribution and workload, despite growing demands on health workers due to the availability of new funds for HIV/AIDS control scale-up. This study analyses and reports trends in HIV and non-HIV ambulatory service workloads on clinical staff in urban and rural district level facilities.<h4>Methods</h4>Structured surveys of health facility managers, and health services covering 2005-07 were conducted in three districts of Zambia in 2008 (two urban and one rural), to fill this evidence gap. Intra-facility analyses were conducted, comparing trends in HIV and non-HIV service utilisation with staff trends.<h4>Results</h4>Clinical staff (doctors, nurses and nurse-midwives, and clinical officers) numbers and staff population densities fell slightly, with lower ratios of staff to population in the rural district. The ratios of antenatal care and family planning registrants to nurses/nurse-midwives were highest at baseline and increased further at the rural facilities over the three years, while daily outpatient department (OPD) workload in urban facilities fell below that in rural facilities. HIV workload, as measured by numbers of clients receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) per facility staff member, was highest in the capital city, but increased rapidly in all three districts. The analysis suggests evidence of task sharing, in that staff designated by managers as ART and PMTCT workers made up a higher proportion of frontline service providers by 2007.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This analysis of workforce patterns across 30 facilities in three districts of Zambia illustrates that the remarkable achievements in scaling-up HIV/AIDS service delivery has been on the back of sustained non-HIV workload levels, increasing HIV workload and stagnant health worker numbers. The findings are based on an analysis of routine data that are available to district and national managers. Mixed methods research is needed, combining quantitative analyses of routine health information with follow-up qualitative interviews, to explore and explain workload changes, and to identify and measure where problems are most acute, so that decision makers can respond appropriately. This study provides quantitative evidence of a human resource crisis in health facilities in Zambia, which may be more acute in rural areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The availability of a skilled birth attendant is widely recognized as a critical factor in reducing maternal and newborn mortality. Competence of maternal healthcare providers directly affects quality of care and health outcomes. This study assessed competence of midwives and associated factors in provision of care during labor, and the immediate postpartum period at public health facilities in Tigray, Ethiopia. METHODS:A cross-sectional study design was employed to collect data through direct observation of the performance of 144 midwives selected from 57 health facilities. Data were collected from January to February 2015 by 12 experienced midwives who were trained on basic emergency obstetric care and had previous experience with data collection. Using a standardized competence checklist, adapted from International confederation of midwives, data collectors interviewed and directly observed the performance of midwives from admission of laboring mothers to six hours after delivery. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify predicators associated with overall clinical competence of midwives. RESULT:The mean competence score of midwives was found to be 51%. In multivariable linear regression, male midwifery professionals (p = 0.022), availability of up to date job aids in work place (p = 0.04) and being recognized for improved performance (p = 0.005) were significantly associated with competence of midwives in the provision of care during labor, childbirth and immediate postpartum period. CONCLUSION:Competence of midwives was found to be low to provide safe and quality maternity care in the region. Male gender, availability of complete job aids and receiving recognition/awards for better performance were predicted competence. This requires attention and investment from Tigray regional health bureau and health development partners working on maternal and child health. Competence based in-service training, on-the-job mentoring, availing up to dated standard job aids, recognition of high performing midwives are recommended to improve the quality of maternity care in public health facilities of the region. Moreover, affirmative actions including on-the-job training and supervision are needed to improve the competence of female midwives.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In Peru, a majority of individuals bypass primary care facilities even for routine services. Efforts to strengthen primary care must be informed by understanding of current practice. We conducted a time motion assessment in primary care facilities in Lima with the goals of assessing the feasibility of this method in an urban health care setting in Latin America and of providing policy makers with empirical evidence on the use of health care provider time in primary care.<h4>Methods</h4>This cross-sectional continuous observation time motion study took place from July - September 2019. We used two-stage sampling to draw a sample of shifts for doctors, nurses, and midwives in primary health facilities and applied the Work Observation Method by Activity Timing tool to capture type and duration of provider activities over a 6-h shift. We summarized time spent on patient care, paper and electronic record-keeping, and non-work (personal and inactive) activities across provider cadres. Observations are weighted by inverse probability of selection.<h4>Results</h4>Two hundred seventy-five providers were sampled from 60 facilities; 20% could not be observed due to provider absence (2% schedule error, 8% schedule change, 10% failure to appear). One hundred seventy-four of the 220 identified providers consented (79.1%) and were observed for a total of 898?h of provider time comprising 30,312 unique tasks. Outpatient shifts included substantial time on patient interaction (110, 82, and 130?min for doctors, nurses, and midwives respectively) and on paper records (132, 97, and 141?min) on average. Across all shifts, 1 in 6?h was spent inactive or on personal activities. Two thirds of midwives used computers compared to half of nurses and one third of doctors.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The time motion study is a feasible method to capture primary care operations in Latin American countries and inform health system strengthening. In the case of Lima, absenteeism undermines health worker availability in primary care facilities, and inactive time further erodes health workforce availability. Productive time is divided between patient-facing activities and a substantial burden of paper-based record keeping for clinical and administrative purposes. Electronic health records remain incompletely integrated within routine care, particularly beyond midwifery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Malaria in pregnancy has devastating consequences for both the expectant mother and baby. Annually, 88.2 (70%) of the 125.2 million pregnancies in malaria endemic regions occur in the Asia-Pacific region. The control of malaria in pregnancy in most of Asia relies on passive case detection and prevention with long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. Indonesia was the first country in the region to introduce, in 2012, malaria screening at pregnant women's first antenatal care visit to reduce the burden of malaria in pregnancy. The study assessed health providers' acceptability and perceptions on the feasibility of implementing the single screening and treatment (SST) strategy in the context of the national programme in two endemic provinces of Indonesia. METHODS:Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews with 86 health providers working in provision of antenatal care (midwives, doctors, laboratory staff, pharmacists, and heads of drug stores), heads of health facilities and District Health Office staff in West Sumba and Mimika districts in East Nusa Tenggara and Papua provinces, respectively. RESULTS:Health providers of all cadres were accepting of SST as a preventive strategy, showing a strong preference for microscopy over rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) as the method of screening. Implementation of the policy was inconsistent in both sites, with least extensive implementation reported in West Sumba compared to Mimika. SST was predominantly implemented at health centre level using microscopy, whereas implementation at community health posts was said to occur in less than half the selected health facilities. Lack of availability of RDTs was cited as the major factor that prevented provision of SST at health posts, however as village midwives cannot prescribe medicines women who test positive are referred to health centres for anti-malarials. Few midwives had received formal training on SST or related topics. CONCLUSIONS:The study findings indicate that SST was an acceptable strategy among health providers, however implementation was inconsistent with variation across different localities within the same district, across levels of facility, and across different cadres within the same health facility. Implementation should be re-invigorated through reorientation and training of health providers, stable supplies of more sensitive RDTs, and improved data capture and reporting.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Healthcare provider training in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC&NC) is a component of 65% of intervention programs aimed at reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of this.<h4>Methods</h4>We evaluated knowledge and skills among 5,939 healthcare providers before and after 3-5 days 'skills and drills' training in emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmOC&NC) conducted in 7 sub-Saharan Africa countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) and 2 Asian countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan). Standardised assessments using multiple choice questions and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) were used to measure change in knowledge and skills and the Improvement Ratio (IR) by cadre and by country. Linear regression was performed to identify variables associated with pre-training score and IR.<h4>Results</h4>99.7% of healthcare providers improved their overall score with a median (IQR) increase of 10.0% (5.0% - 15.0%) for knowledge and 28.8% (23.1% - 35.1%) for skill. There were significant improvements in knowledge and skills for each cadre of healthcare provider and for each country (p<0.05). The mean IR was 56% for doctors, 50% for mid-level staff and nurse-midwives and 38% for nursing-aides. A teaching job, previous in-service training, and higher percentage of work-time spent providing maternity care were each associated with a higher pre-training score. Those with more than 11 years of experience in obstetrics had the lowest scores prior to training, with mean IRs 1.4% lower than for those with no more than 2 years of experience. The largest IR was for recognition and management of obstetric haemorrhage (49-70%) and the smallest for recognition and management of obstructed labour and use of the partograph (6-15%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Short in-service EmOC&NC training was associated with improved knowledge and skills for all cadres of healthcare providers working in maternity wards in both sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Additional support and training is needed for use of the partograph as a tool to monitor progress in labour. Further research is needed to assess if this is translated into improved service delivery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Humanitarian crises can lead to the rapid change in the health needs of women and newborns, which may give rise to a complex situation that would require various interventions as solutions. This study aimed to examine the health education and promotion patterns, health-seeking behaviour of mothers, and barriers to the use of maternal health services from public health facilities in two rural areas of Yemen. METHODS:We used a qualitative approach. We conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with frontline health professionals and mothers respectively. Nine in-depth interviews were conducted with the health professionals, including 4 health leaders and 5 midwives, and 2 focus group discussions with mothers aged 18-45?years in Abyan and Lahj. Thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data in Atlas.ti (version 8) Software. RESULTS:Our data showed that health education and promotion activities on maternal health were ad hoc and coverage was poor. Maternal health services were underutilized by women. According to the data from the focus group discussions, the poor quality of services, as indicated by inadequate numbers of female doctors, lack of medical equipment and medicines, and costs of services were barriers to use maternal health services. Moreover, the use of prenatal and postnatal care services was associated with women's' perceived need. However, according to the health professionals, the inadequate human resource, workload, and inadequate funding from government have contributed significantly to the perceived quality of maternal health services provided by public health facilities. Despite the identified barriers, we found that a safe motherhood voucher scheme was instituted in Lahj which facilitated the use of maternal health services by disadvantaged women by removing financial barriers associated with the use of maternal health services. CONCLUSION:This study identified several obstacles, which worked independently or jointly to minimize the delivery and use of health services by rural women. These included, inadequate funding, inadequate human resources, poor quality of health services, and high cost of services. These barriers need to be addressed to improve the use of reproductive health services in Yemen.