Nurse midwife Beatrice’s days are spent in the busy maternity ward at Kewara, a Sub County Hospital in Murang’a County. She finds her job rewarding, helping bring new life into the world and supporting mothers during an often-vulnerable time.
Over the last few months, this passion has seen her take on a new leadership role as a mentor in Jacaranda’s MENTORS program, which equips frontline government midwives across Kenya with the vital skills and knowledge to champion high quality care in their facilities.
Improving competence and confidence in the wards
The scale and sustainability of the MENTORS program is upheld by its training of trainers model, whereby government midwife champions like Beatrice continuously cascade skills down to their peers in facilities.
Beatrice finds it rewarding to help her colleagues improve their competence and confidence on the maternity ward, and has been pleased to see a shift in the way emergencies are handled and mothers are treated. Comprehensive screening during prenatal care appointments is helping identify high-risk pregnancies sooner, averting life-threatening, yet highly preventable labor complications down the line. When emergencies do happen, Beatrice’s team have improved skills in complications like postpartum hemorrhage, and work better as a team to resolve them quickly thanks to training in communication and problem-solving.
Improving respectful care through continuous training
Importantly, mothers visiting Kewara are receiving respectful, dignified care. Additional to clinical skills-building, the MENTORS program emphasizes respectful care as a prerequisite to positive outcomes, training providers in stronger patient communication, empathetic listening, and bereavement support for mothers who lose their babies before, during, or after delivery.
As we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife, we are reminded of the crucial role midwives play in ensuring safe childbirth and maternal health – today, and every day.
By investing in their professional development through continuous facility-based training, we hope to see significant shifts in the quality of care mothers receive in facilities across Kenya, and better outcomes during emergency scenarios, when every second counts.