On 6 February, the Sanyu African Midwives Commonwealth Alumni Association (SAMCA) delivered a workshop to midwives and midwifery students from health centres and midwifery schools across the eastern region. The purpose of the workshop was to improve the knowledge and skills of midwives and other frontline health workers in the management of complications of labour and neonatal resuscitation and create an avenue for midwives and other health workers to share their experiences and practice.

SAMCA is part of the Uganda Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Alumni Association (UCSFAA) and represents the Sanyu nominated midwives and doctors who completed a Commonwealth Professional Fellowship.

Creating a network of midwives and health workers

Alongside midwives and health workers, the event brought together District Health Officers and representatives from referral hospitals in the region, as well as officials from the Ministry of Health and Uganda Midwifery and nurses’ associations.

The event was opened by Sr Stella Abigail Kisolo, Assistant District Health Officer for Mbale Region. She welcomed all stakeholders and thanked SAMCA for organising the training. She noted that the region still needs a lot of support to eliminate maternal and perinatal deaths and training midwives is pivotal in achieving this.

In her remarks, Sr Kisolo shared that, Eastern Uganda and the Regional Referral Hospital has consistently registered a higher perinatal mortality as per the national MPDSR report.

‘’We aim to network with the various stakeholders of maternal child health with the ultimate goal to contributing towards a reduction in maternal and perinatal mortality thus making maternity midwifery excellent.’’

In her conclusion, Sr Kisolo added that maternity midwifery reviews bridge the gap between the most and less-skilled health workers and help to reduce inequalities within and among midwives. She requested these to be conducted at least bi-annually. Following her remarks, the formal training sessions began.

Training sessions:

  • Overview of perinatal death in the Region, Overview of perinatal death in the Region- Proscovia Auma (2015 Professional Fellow)
  • High risk ANC/ IRR collaborative, Isina Gladys
  • Sharing experiences, facilitated by Igonyo Esther (2017 Professional Fellow)
  • Quality improvement session, facilitated by representative from Mbare Hospital

Committing to further actions

The event ended with a thanks to all those in attendance and speakers and a session on next steps, facilitated by Commonwealth Alumnus Lunyolo Rosemary (2016 Professional Fellow). It was agreed that SAMCA would conduct follow up visits and meetings with all the trained midwives and midwifery students on a quarterly basis.

Collin Ogara (2014 Professional Fellow), Chair of UCSFAA, spoke on behalf of the association leadership and assured his dedication towards supporting SAMCA through the wider network of Commonwealth Alumni in Uganda.