This project aims to develop the education and training for Non-Physician Clinicians (NPCs) who work with mothers and babies in rural and urban areas of Africa. With few doctors available, these clinicians are a vital source of health care provision yet receive little recognition for their work.
ETATMBA brings together African, European and global partners to develop both the clinical skills and leadership qualities of the NPCs working in Tanzania and Malawi.
Part of this process will involve developing clinical guidelines for the triage and treatment of obstetric and neonatal emergencies and developing systems in postnatal care tailored to available resources.
Clinical guidelines and structured education are based on best existing practice and local needs, with the aim of reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. NPCs increase their skills in the management of obstetric emergencies such as obstructed labour, haemorrhage and pre-eclampsia and neonatal emergencies such as preterm labour, infection and birth asphyxia.
A vital part of the project is for NPCs to take a leadership role in service provision. They learn how to audit their practice in order to implement change and sustain improvements and they are encouraged to take responsibility for matters which directly affect their service, for example identifying why supplies run low and taking action to correct the problem, or cascading their own training to other health service providers on how to manage pre-eclampsia.
Increased skill and leadership will help to develop the professional recognition of the service the NPCs provide across sub-Saharan Africa. It is hoped that this will help to develop a mutual respect between NPCs and medical specialists, producing more effective healthcare for mothers and babies.
The strength of the ETATMBA project lies in its collaboration between African and northern partners, where methods of training are tailored to local needs. It is hoped that ultimately the training will be integrated into the healthcare systems of the partner countries, with the collaboration of local and national governments, and that this will help to reduce the loss of mothers and babies in Africa.