BMC health services research
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BACKGROUND: There are a number of factors that may contribute to high mortality and morbidity of women and newborns in low-income countries. These include a shortage of competent health care providers (HCP) and a lack of sufficient continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. Strengthening the skills and building the capacity of HCP involved in the provision of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) is essential to ensure quality care for mothers, newborns and children. To address this challenge in Rwanda, mentorship of HCPs was identified as an approach that could help build capacity, improve the provision of care and accelerate the reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. In this paper, we describe the development and implementation of a novel mentorship model named Four plus One (4
METHODS: The mentorship model built on the basis of inter-professional collaboration (IPC) was developed in early 2017 through consultations with different key actors. The design phase included refresher courses in specific skills and training course on mentoring. Field visits were conducted in 10 hospitals from June 2017 to February 2020. Hospital management teams (MT) were involved in the development and implementation of this mentorship model to ensure ownership of the program.
RESULTS: Upon completion of planned visits to each hospital, a total of 218 HCPs were involved in the process. Reports prepared by mentors upon each mentorship visit and compiled by Training Support and Access Model (TSAM) for MNCH'CPD team, highlighted the mothers and newborns who were saved by both mentors and mentees. Also, different logbooks of mentees showed how the capacity of staff was strengthened, thereby suggesting effectiveness of the model. Through different mentorship coordination meetings, the model was much appreciated by the MTs of hospitals, especially the IPC component of the model and confirmed the program 'effectiveness.
CONCLUSION: The initiation of a mentorship model built on IPC together with the involvement of the leadership of the hospital may be the cause effect of reduction of specific mortality and improve MNCH in low resource settings even when there are a limited number of specialists in the health facilities.
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