Improving maternal health and reducing neonatal mortality are two of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that the country aims to achieve. Various agencies in the Philippines have collaborated for the attainment of these 8 MDGs, and the Department of Health (DOH) is not an exception. In support of these goals, the department revisited its programs and protocols and instituted reforms by means of trainings that develop its human resource capabilities. Linkages with other partner agencies were done as well.
The Basic Emergency Obstetric Newborn Care (BEmONC) Skills Training Course is one activity developed by the DOH aimed at enhancing birth attendants’ skialls in assessing and managing conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and newborn care. It is an 11-day skills training course composed of both lecture and practicum, where participants are expected to comply with the required cases prior to issuance of a certificate of training. The initial partnership between DOH and the academe in managing this skills training course gave birth to a wider dissemination of these innovations in health care.
Bicol University (BU) in its participatory role in regional and national development has participated in this noble endeavor by sending four faculty members of the College of Nursing Main Campus to become BEmONC trainors. Dr. Adelia A. Guasa, Prof. Jane M. Pecson, Prof. Conchita A. Palencia and Prof. Nera A. Galan became part of the BEmONC Training Team after undergoing the Training of Trainors conducted at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital last February 8-12, 2010. A memorandum of agreement between DOH and BU gave recognition to the university as a Training Center for BEmONC in partnership with the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City.
BU, as a BEmONC Training Center, with the four faculty members from the College of Nursing spearheaded and facilitated the first BEmONC Skills Training Course conducted last January 18-28, 2011. A total of 18 participants all coming from the province of Sorsogon were billeted at the Jennifer’s Kababayan Hotel, Inc. Legazpi City all throughout the training. The participating teams, each composed of a doctor, nurse and midwife, came from the Rural Health Unit of Castilla, Donsol District Hospital, Don Fernando B. Duran Memorial Hospital, City Health Office of Bacon, Matnog Medicare Hospital and Rural Health Unit of Casiguran, comprising the first ever six teams to undergo the didactic and practicum aspect of the BEmONC Skills Training Course under the BU-BRTTH Training Center.
Topics concerning pregnancy, labor, delivery and newborn care utilizing diversified teaching methodologies were discussed. An orientation, course overview, and team building activities were also held. Principles of good care, counseling, and mobilizing community support were given emphasis as well. Resource persons for these topics were members of the training team mostly coming from the BRTTH: obstetricians, Dr. Alma Bella Rivera, Dr. Rona Raňola, and Dr. Rachel Fortuno; and pediatricians, Dr. Honey Mae Raborar, Dr. Swiss Calleja and Dr. Arlene Ludovice. These lecture sessions provided the participants with information vital to the practicum exposure.
The six-day practicum exposure at the BRTTH afforded the participants the chance to practice the skills related to the updates they were given.