11-15 November 2007

Health Care Professionals (HCP) Workshop

Quality improvement

The session on quality improvement started with a presentation on the role of the Association of obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda (AOGU) in quality improvement. This presentation, in addition to outlining the definition of quality and providing information about the AOGU, detailed ways in which the AOGU contributes to improving quality; i.e.: training, continuing medical information, monitoring/support supervision, setting standards of care and awareness raising/health education.

The session on quality improvement also included a presentation on the role of HCPs in saving newborn lives. This presentation outlined global progress on MDG 4 and compared it to that of the African continent. It also related neonatal mortality burden with physician density in countries, highlighting the link between the two. It provided information about scaling up effective interventions, pointing to the difference the theoretical and real applications of integrated packages in the continuum of care. Finally the presentation listed some of the ways in which HCPs could help minimize neonatal mortality primarily through providing technical support for national planning and for public health policy, auditing deaths and quality of care, and advocating and promoting accountability among others.

A last presentation was made during this session which covered the partnering for the scale up of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) in Malawi. The presentation outlined the need for KMC in Malawi and detailed the role played by HCPs as champions in setting it up. It then went on to illustrate the need for government leadership and community support in the scaling up of this practice and drew the achievements of the KMC programs especially in terms of policy and training and implementation.

The panel discussion following these three presentations highlighted the following as necessary next steps for HCPAs:

  • Providing community perspectives of care
    • Viewing community as partners as opposed to clients
    • Soliciting perspectives of mothers about quality care
  • Partnering with the Ministry of Health to ensure that quality improvement policies and programs are included in MoH work plans
  • Working together to foster a horizontal integration of quality improvement in the continuum of care
  • Actively partnering with this schools in curriculum development and training of cadres
  • Promoting
    • Operational research
    • Evidence based practice
    • Standards/guidelines