Catherine is the head of reproductive health services in Murang’a county and has been instrumental in helping us introduce and implement our programs in the county. We have seen tremendous growth after the introduction of EmONC training and the PROMPTS platform in Murang’a County in 2019. Catherine retires as a nursing officer and she speaks to us on some of the achievements she’s attained in her career and especially through Jacaranda Health.
How long have you been practicing nursing?
I have been doing this for 37 years and intentional about maternal and newborn health care in Murang’a county. I ensure that all the health facilities provide quality health care services to all mothers.
When did you first interact with Jacaranda Health?
I first interacted with Jacaranda Health in 2018 through Esther Hinga, a nurse mentor at Jacaranda Health, who at the time had lost her sister-in-law through negligence during childbirth that caused postpartum haemorrhage. Esther was looking for a solution to improve the nurses skills and reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Murang’a county going forward.
At the time, I was also looking for a training program when Esther approached me and I didn’t really know how to go about it, so when she told me about EmONC mentorship, I was really excited. Esther’s call came at the right time for me.
Tell me more about the EMONC mentorship program and how it has helped the facilities?
First, I really want to appreciate Jacaranda Health for the introduction of the EMONC training drills at the facilities. These drills have changed how the knowledge is delivered and retained by the health care providers. It was a new concept that we all appreciated and the JH staff trained with a lot of passion. This has enabled health facility providers to improve how they take care of the mothers during ANC, delivery and PNC.
Jacaranda Health through this partnership has trained over 100 nurses who are now health care providers and also mentors. The training empowered the nurse mentors to train other nurses in different facilities to improve maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
We have seen tremendous growth through the programs, CMEs (Continuing Medical Education) are now very vibrant and they continued the training even during the pandemic, hosting the classes virtually for continuity. Through the SMS platform (PROMPTS) we have seen a growth in Antenatal Care because now mothers are empowered with information and health tips and they are more confident to come to hospitals and seek care. As we speak 80% of the deliveries in Murang’a county are now happening in health facilities because mothers have confidence in the health facilities and the providers.
Now the nurses have taken the training in sub-counties; to perform drills and have meetings to assess the gaps, appreciate successes and plan next steps.
As you retire, what can you say has been your biggest achievement?
I have to say leaving the team well equipped to continue the work. I am really grateful for Jacaranda Health for coming up with programs that are relevant to the community and helping the healthcare providers to provide quality care to all mothers and babies. Jacaranda Health has not only given us the skills but also, they have given us a lot of technical support and even given us things like the mannequins to continue to do the training in different facilities. I am walking away a very happy nurse.