At the request of NDoH and with the guidance of the Steering Committee the first priority for the RHTU will be providing reproductive health training packages. The two most cost-effective interventions world-wide (as well as in PNG) to bring down maternal mortality and improve maternal and child health are:
- Quality Family Planning services;
- Supervised Delivery in a health facility by a skilled birth attendant with immediate access to Emergency Obstetric Care (Basic and Comprehensive) when required.
- Family Planning service provision;
- Emergency Obstetric and early Neonatal Care (EmONC) for staff of those facilities delivering > 200 women each year;
- Essential Obstetric Care (EOC) for staff of those facilities delivering < 200 women each year.
The Pacific Emergency Obstetric Care (PEmOC®) Course has been piloted in PNG since 2007. The lessons learned in these pilots have formed the basis of the RHTU strategies and objectives. It has been decided in PNG (under advice from the RHTU Steering Committee) that PEmOC should be targeted at:
- Selected clinical staff of those facilities delivering and providing post-natal care more than 200 women a year;
- All staff of provincial labour and post-natal wards;
- Reproductive health educators in the pre-service and post-basic training institutions.
There is a clear need for other reproductive health in-service training programs, in particular:
- Family Planning service delivery (there has been no post-graduate or in-service course in family planning in PNG; training provided in pre-service and post-basic training courses for CHWs and nurses and HEOs has been quite limited at most training institutions);
- Essential Obstetric Care for those workers in facilities delivering less than 200 women a year, as well as those working in antenatal clinics and health facilities not providing supervised delivery. The EOC Course includes basic family planning to safely time an intended pregnancy and avoid unintended pregnancy, routine antenatal care, respectful maternity service delivery, supervised delivery planning, routine care in the normal labour and delivery, recognizing abnormal progress in labour and getting help, routine post-natal care for mother and newborn, achievable post-natal family planning plans, and including men in improving their family’s reproductive health.
These packages are intended only for clinical workers; not for program managers or supervisors. However, interested manager or supervisors may attend the sessions as observers; this to ensure that the valuable training places will be quarantined for clinicians in need of continuing professional development.
The RHTU will work with Provincial Health Authorities and Administrations, as well as academics, to identify talented, clinician RHTU training facilitators. Potential candidates will be invited to join a ‘Training the Trainer’ program, but only after they have:
- attended the course themselves; and
- passed the course assessment at a (high) pre-determined level.
All accredited Facilitators will need to undergo a re-accreditation process every few years to maintain their proficiency and accreditation. This is to ensure that high standards are maintained and that the facilitators continue to use their skills on a regular basis to extend reproductive health CPD in their province. Further specifications will be discussed with the key decision makers for reproductive health CPD in each province.