MEPI  ESMOE Activities



Towards improving health professional education, ESMOE was set up by a National Advisory Board.  The Board developed a series of 12 modules which included training in the management of common conditions causing maternal deaths in mothers and their newborns.  These include modules in obstetrics and newborn resuscitation.  In addition, a 13th module on obstetric anaesthesia has been developed.  The ESMOE training in KZN is being organized and funded by MEPI with an aim to train all doctors and nurses providing maternal and newborn care on a continuing basis.

The first two ESMOE training workshops were held in 2011 resulting in 41 people qualified in the management of obstetric emergencies.

Following on this success, further training has been done each year, over three days across the province, which includes the train the trainers workshop for Master Trainers which has led to KwaZulu-Natal now leading the country with 246 ESMOE Master Trainers - the highest number in the country - all funded by MEPI. In addition, hundreds of health workers have been trained and certified in ESMOE, including international MEPI visiting doctors from Ghana.

The modules

Train the Trainer (TTT) Workshops

These comprise three-day workshops hosted at the Family Medicine Skills Laboratory at Howard College, UKZN. These small interactive group sessions consist of twelve modules of ninety minutes covering the following:

  • A lecture, skills demonstration using mannequins and/or video
  • Practice and case scenarios including role play (also referred to as fire drills).
  • Training on maternal and neonatal resuscitation, sepsis and shock, eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, assisted delivery, obstetric complications, surgical skills and HIV in pregnancy.

These workshops are made possible through collaboration MEPI and UKZN providing venue and equipment, the Provincial Department of Health (DoH) and UKZN providing specialist facilitators (obstetricians, neonatologists, anaesthetists, etc.) and administration facilitated by the Provincial DoH, UKZN and MEPI.

Workshops are accordingly evaluated, revised and updated by a National ESMOE Board independent Quality Assurance Assessor.

ESMOE Master Trainers

Master Trainers include specialist obstetricians, specialist family physicians, medical officers, midwives, midwifery educators and members of the district clinical specialist team members. Each DCST in each of our eleven districts across urban, peri-urban and rural settings now has at least one ESMOE Master Trainer and each hospital with comprehensive emergency obstetric care now also boasts at least one ESMOE Master Trainer (with most actually having two, in the form of a doctor and midwife).

EOST (Emergency Obstetric Simulation Training) Fire Drills

District based, these one-day workshops provide ESMOE Master Trainers with the appropriate skills to implement fire drills at their own facilities. In collaboration with the National DoH, such workshops have been conducted in Ladysmith, Durban, Zululand and Umkhanyakude, and in collaboration with MEPI at Murchison and Stanger. MEPI is to fund workshops in a further three districts Sisonke (Ixopo), Umgungdhlovu (Pietermaritzburg) and Uthungulu (Empangeni).

Additional ESMOE activities include:

  • Further TTT Workshops and Refresher workshops
  • More Fire Drill Workshops
  • DSCT research support
  • A Monitoring and Evaluation Project which is ongoing
  • Certification of the ESMOE workshops by the National ESMOE Board
  • Development  of an abridged version of ESMOE which will be included in the ‘Integrated Primary Care (IPC) 2’ at Undergraduate Level (Fifth Year MBChB).
  • Possible inclusion of ESMOE into O&G registrar and Family Physician training
  • Workshops on common causes of maternal mortality

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