By Teopista Agutu
Communications Director, STM East Africa
Last November, Save the Mothers won a “Stronger Together” grant from Canadian philanthropic organization Stronger Philanthropy to implement a Midwifery Mentorship and Coaching project (MMC). MMC provides training and support for midwives in STM’s Mother Baby Friendly Hospital sites.
This project aims to fill the critical gaps in knowledge and skill through training midwives and key health facility staff in midwifery practices, communication, and leadership.
The crucial first task was to conduct a baseline survey to help identify midwives’ mentorship and coaching needs in midwifery, communication and leadership. The survey was conducted at Mother Baby Friendly Hospital sites across Uganda earlier this year.
From that survey, we learned that midwives craved more training in delivery and post-delivery skills. On top of their list were skills like management of Antepartum and Postpartum Hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, using tools, infection prevention and control of post-eclampsia.
Our midwives identified that they need more training in communication skills, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, public speaking, breaking bad news, and communicating through a crisis. The midwives expressed a need to develop their leadership styles, teamwork, motivation and ethics. They want to become effective leaders in their interactions with their colleagues and the community at large.
The team reviewed the findings of the baseline survey and used the knowledge to develop the curriculum for the Midwifery Mentorship and Coaching program.
With the baseline complete and the curriculum developed, on April 17, we launched the Midwifery Mentorship and Coaching program with a model orientation session. Midwives and Hospital Administrators representing 8 Mother Baby Friendly Hospital sites attended the event at a hotel not far from Mukono.
Dr. Dinah Nakiganda, Assistant Commissioner of Reproductive Health, Uganda Ministry of Health, gave the opening remarks at the event. She stressed the role of leadership and communication as pivotal in quality service delivery. She emphasized the need for midwives to address issues that are within their means to save lives.
We are excited to see how this program unfolds. We know that it will have an incredible impact on the lives of many women. Stay tuned for updates!