“Facility-based trainings are really more beneficial than classroom trainings,” Hagar said, reflecting on how helpful a recent on-the-job training for preventing malaria in pregnancy was for her career. Hagar Koomson is a senior midwifery officer at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Takoradi, Ghana.
“This training has really helped me to solve problems with my colleagues to offer quality and improved health service delivery to pregnant women who visit our facility.”
Malaria infection during pregnancy can have adverse effects on both the mother and her child. In some severe and unattended situations, the infection leads to the death of the unborn child. Ensuring the proper prevention and treatment supplies are kept stocked at the hospital is critical to providing quality care. As part of measures to improve malaria in pregnancy services at all regional hospitals in Ghana, IM supported the National Malaria Elimination Program to organize a facility-based training on the prevention of malaria in pregnant women including the management of malaria commodities at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital. The training helped Hagar and her colleagues develop solutions to address challenges facing commodity supplies at their hospital using quality improvement approaches. They were trained how to calculate re-order levels for malaria supplies and how to request these commodities for restock. They were also trained to document, extract, and validate data for final reports.
One improvement in commodities management and service delivery standard at her hospital was that "Every pregnant mother who reports at the antenatal unit for registration on their first antenatal care visit now receives long-lasting insecticide-treated nets.” The World Health Organization recommends long-lasting insecticide-treated nets as one of the most effective strategies for the prevention of malaria in endemic regions like Takoradi, Ghana, especially for pregnant women.
Hagar Koomson, midwife at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Ghana, at the commodity storage area of the hospital (top) and advising expectant women to take their sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and use insecticide-treated mosquito nets (bottom). Photo Credit: Emmanuel Attramah, PMI Impact Malaria
Since the training, Hagar said her facility is now able to manage malaria commodities better and this is shown in the continuous supply and availability of critical malaria prevention supplies in the unit, such as the long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. “Now, all pregnant women receive the proper prevention tools at registration and antimalarials when they are due. We are happy we’ve been able to address this challenge with the training workshop.”
The facility-based training was conducted in six regional hospitals with 183 midwives. For Hagar, the on-the-job training has improved their interventions and was beneficial in providing training at her health facility, rather than removing her from her important work to learn in a classroom.
The facility data shows that the percentage of pregnant women receiving nets at their first antenatal care visit increased from 49% between July to September 2021 to 100% consistently from January 2021 to June 2022. Hagar and her team are determined to continue improving the quality of care they provide and ensuring pregnant women are educated in the preventive tools that can keep them and their unborn children safe from malaria.
PMI Impact Malaria is funded and technically assisted by the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and is led by Population Services International (PSI) in partnership with Jhpiego, MCD Global Health, and the Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) at the University of California, San Francisco.