Skills Lab: New and Innovative Approach to Train Health Professionals in Low-Resource Settings

Presenter: Arunabh Ray, BTAST/DFID

Background: Availability of quality healthcare service delivery is very much reliant upon the competency of healthcare professionals. The current pedagogies followed during pre and in-service trainings have not been able to ensure that the healthcare professionals acquire the required skills essential to provide quality RMNCH+A care. Provision of services by such inadequately competent professionals will affect health outcomes and impede India’s progress towards achieving MDG goals. Hence capacity building of service providers for making them proficient in technical skills and knowledge becomes key interventions for ensuring these desired outcomes.

Methodology: Various types of skills based training are being implemented but the trainees are not exposed to adequate practicing of the skills on mannequins and equipment. Further there is limited focus on ascertaining the competencies acquired by the trainees post training due to lack of dedicated trainers and OSCE methods. In view of this, two Skills Lab (RMNCH+A) have been established and operationalised at Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur in Bihar, India in February 2015. These Skill Labs are state of art training centres and result of collaboration between Government of India, Government of Bihar and DFID for improving the quality of RMNCH+A services. The skills lab has 38 basic skills and 13 add-on skills stations. 6 days basic skills lab training is for all service providers involved in RMNCH+A services and posted at Delivery Points.

Result: 18 batches of training have been conducted now covering 6 districts. Post assessment showed that service providers are more confident in providing RMNCH+A services particularly managing complications during delivery and postpartum period.

Conclusion: GoI has developed an operational guideline and planned to operationalise 150 Skills lab at national, state level and regional levels. This will accelerate the availability of skilled personnel at health facilities and provide onsite mentoring by trained professionals.