We believe all women have the right to respectful, timely, quality care. As a world leader in women’s health, it’s essential that we use our expertise to improve health care for women around the globe.
An exciting year
2016 was an exceptionally busy and exciting year for global health. The RCOG’s major training programme, Excellence in Obstetric Skills, which is funded by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), has trained more than 300 health professionals in Uganda in preventing and managing obstetric emergencies.
Leading Safe Choices
Globally, 225 million women would like to delay or prevent a pregnancy but have no access to contraception. Our ground-breaking pilot project aims to address the need for family planning and abortion care as well as increase the professional standing of healthcare providers in South Africa and Tanzania. Our project has now recruited small teams in both countries to deliver training courses in Post-Partum Family Planning, Comprehensive Abortion Care and, in Tanzania, Comprehensive Post-Abortion Care.
The South Africa team delivered 20 courses last year, training a total of 235 health care workers. We have teamed up with the Tanzanian Post-Partum Family Planning National Training Curriculum to run three courses, resulting in 54 healthcare providers being trained, including 18 trainers.
Our Best Practice Papers continue to be widely promoted and have received positive feedback. We are speaking to representatives from other countries who want to adapt them for their local situation.
Expanding skills in gynaecology
We have also developed a set of modules on managing gynaecological disease for under-resourced areas which were piloted in 2016 in Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Bangladesh. The 10 modules, which include training on cervical cancer and family planning, adopt a holistic, human rights approach to put women at the centre of the delivery of healthcare.
The MRCOG continued to expand into new territories, including Saudi Arabia. We held the Part 1 exam in Sri Lanka and 90 candidates sat the Part 2 exam in Myanmar. In partnership with local Fellows, Members and partner organisations, we organised 28 courses that attracted 461 delegates. We are delighted to have secured new centres in Ghana and Kenya for 2017.
Rising to the challenge
We’re proud that our members, Officers, staff and friends have always been keen to rise to a challenge to raise money to support our work. In 2016, 72 people got involved in challenge events, raising a total of £80,000, including a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro which provided funds for three pilots of our Excellence in: Essential Gynaecology Skills courses. They also took part in RideLondon, raising money for our Each Baby Counts programme.
150 midwives and health workers were reached through our pilot training programme Excellence in Essential Gynaecology Skills
55 doctors from around the world benefited from a placement in the UK as part of the Medical Training Initiative run by the UK Government
Maternal mortality affects
40 times more
live births in Uganda compared to the UK
I decided to become a trainer on the course because it opened my eyes. All the midwives in Uganda need to go through this emergency obstetric training course.
Angella Najjuuko, Clinical Officer, Bukeeri Health Centre, Masaka
Dr Ssenyondo Gonzaga Gonza
RCOG Master Trainer in Uganda
“One of the most important elements of the training is the monitoring and evaluation”
Dr Ssenyondo Gonzaga Gonza attended the first Excellence in: Obstetric Skills course the faculty ran at Kitovu, Uganda, and then attended the train-the-trainer day. Having returned to teach on several Excellence courses at Kitovu, he has now become a Master Trainer, delivering local training and implementing an action plan at the regional referral hospital using elements from the course to train large numbers of his staff.
“I am so grateful to the RCOG for bringing this course to Uganda. Maternal mortality is very high in the area and one of the main causes is that women don’t always receive appropriate care. Although our health workers are trained, there are definitely gaps in their skills and knowledge which is why the Excellence in Obstetrics course is so valuable. It is difficult for the Ministry of Health in Uganda to maintain standards and practical skills are not emphasised during the training.
“It’s the first time people have been able to experience such comprehensive skills training, in one place, at one time. It’s not just learning the theory that’s important, this course allows workers to test their practical skills as well.
“I originally decided to do the course myself as I could see the content would give me good skills and set high standards, not only for myself but for my departments and team of midwives, to allow us to improve the quality of care for women.
“I went on to do the Train the Trainer Course and then the Master Trainer course which really cemented my knowledge and has allowed me to pass this on to others. Not only did it give us the skills and evidence-based knowledge, but there were psychologists on the course who taught us how to help our participants and that was one of the most useful things.
“We have now trained a significant number of people in the area but one of the most important elements of the training the RCOG offers is the monitoring and evaluation. We ask people to perform certain skills and then give them feedback. They have never had that kind of support before and it really helps to revitalise the skills.
“We have found that the majority of health workers have been very receptive to learning new ways of doing things and we are really seeing a difference. We have saved quite a number of lives, stillbirths have come down by about 40%, with the use of the partograph and the midwives have learnt resuscitation skills.
“We adopted the early warning system we learnt on the course and are using it to monitor our patients so midwives are learning to call in a doctor much earlier. The system warns us earlier when complications are occurring, especially in mothers with sepsis and internal bleeding. As well as giving you skills, the course gives you confidence so when you’re back in the clinical setting you’re ready to go. It’s so inspiring, I see a bright future, with more and more midwives improving their skills which means the maternal mortality and neonatal mortality will continue to come down.”