Maternal and Neonatal Child Health in Africa Fellowship
The 2014 Australia Awards Maternal and Neonatal Child Heath (MNCH) Africa Fellowship was designed to:
- improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in selected African countries
- provide an overview of the latest evidence-based contemporary approaches to maternal and child health service provision to African health professionals to implement improvements in their particular contexts
- strengthen Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) systems in selected countries by fostering leadership capacity, particularly focussing on female health professionals.
The program supported Awardees from Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Kenya and consisted of a Pre-Course design visit, delivery of an eight module, five-week course delivered at the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH), and a Post-Course visit.
Overall the course provided participants with access to contemporary best-practice research and evidence-based strategies in topics including:
- knowledge and skills to assess and strengthen their local area health systems through monitoring and evaluation, use of operations research and responding to relevant health indicators
- capacity to examine how their specific professional role currently influences changes or improvements in health programs in their country; understanding the importance of cross-cutting issues when designing health initiatives
- increasing capacity to continue professional development through the introduction to open access materials, training materials and programmes e.g. Cochrane collection, WHPO and engagement in communities of practice, peer review and quality audits.
Awardees exited the training with a Workplan on Return (WPR) that is tailored to their roles, which is to be implemented upon their return home. The Workplan on Return ensures the knowledge of MNCH gained during the course is actually applied when they return to their professional roles.
Another encouraging outcome of the program was that TTCIH staff who facilitated the course and also work at the local teaching hospital, adopted the tools and techniques taught on the course by the UQ delivery team, hence increasing the capacity and service level delivery at local health facilities.