Conference abstract

Development and implementation of a structured neonatal training course for MSF projects

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:9(31).27 Aug 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.9.31.758
Archived on: 27 Aug 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Neonatal training, simulation, implementation

Development and implementation of a structured neonatal training course for MSF projects

Johanna Thomson1,&, Clémence Castaings2, Muriel Durand2, Nikola Morton1, Lisa Umphrey1, Myrto Schaefer1

1Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Paris (OCP), Medical Department, Sydney, Australia, 2Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Paris (OCP), Training Unit, Sydney, Paris, France

&Corresponding author
Johanna Thomson, Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Paris (OCP), Medical Department, Sydney, Australia


Introduction: neonatal deaths account for 44% of under-5 mortality, a proportion that is increasing as childhood mortality declines. Whilst most of these deaths are preventable with simple, timely interventions, neonatal care requires specific clinical training and an approach that is distinct from general paediatric care. Currently, there is little expertise in new born care in most contexts where “médecins sans frontières” (MSF) operates. To address the need for a systematic approach to new born care, MSF have developed a structured neonatal hospital care course based on MSF neonatal care guidelines.

Methods: development of a 5-day training comprised of seven modules: context and epidemiology, birth and emergency management, routine new born care, care of low birth weight (LBW) babies, care of sick new borns, pain and palliative care, discharge advice and management. The training is centered around a series of 4 case studies and focuses on the systematic approach to neonatal care within a multi-disciplinary team. Diverse pedagogic techniques including case-based learning, workshops, group discussions, exercises and simulation are used. The training team is composed of a paediatric doctor and nurse.

Results: the course was pilot-tested in Paris in August 2017, training 17 staff from varied professional backgrounds (nurses, midwives and doctors). Participants rated the training highly, particularly noting the utility of evolution of case studies and use of simulation techniques. Field implementation will commence in early 2018. Successful features include the multidisciplinary nature of the training with focus on team work and communication. Streamlining content with clinical guidelines sensitises hospital staff to their use in daily practice. Standardisation of training facilitates widespread implementation and scale-up through training of multiple trainers.

Conclusion: a structured neonatal training course incorporating simulation and case-based learning was successfully piloted in Paris and rated highly by participants. Further implementation of field based training is recommended to improve quality of care and address concerning trends in neonatal mortality.