Regional Training Center for Reproductive Health in North Kivu Province, Eastern DR Congo
For nearly two decades, the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been the theatre of clashes between dozens of local and foreign rebel groups. This has created a precarious situation that has profoundly and negatively impacted the health of local populations, particularly women and girls. With a contraceptive prevalence rate of around 6%, reproductive health indicators for eastern DRC are among the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In this particular context, CARE DRC is implementing the UZAZI BORA Project (the local name for the Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-abortion Care Initiative) in two health zones in the volatile province of North Kivu with the aim of reducing unintended pregnancies and abortion-related mortality by providing high-quality family planning and post-abortion care services.
One of the major challenges of the project has been building the capacity of health care providers to international standards at an affordable cost in an environment adapted to the work realities of health care providers. Historically, providers have been sent to other countries in West or East Africa for clinical trainings. However, this practice is very expensive and deprives local health facilities of providers - who are already in scarce supply - for long stretches of time while they attend trainings.
To overcome these challenges, CARE DRC and the UZAZI BORA project led the creation of a clinical training center in Goma to teach health providers how to deliver high-quality family planning, post-abortion care and other reproductive health care services. Other humanitarian agencies working on reproductive health in North Kivu, such as Merlin, Save the Children, IRC and UNFPA, also contributed to the establishment of this unique training facility, which was with fully endorsed by the Provincial Health Coordinator of the National Reproductive Health Program in North Kivu Province. This facility was officially handed over to the health authorities after its inauguration on May 16, 2014 by the Provincial Minister of the Interior on behalf of the Provincial Governor in the presence of all partners in health.
Now fully functioning, the training center has become a symbol of government’s commitment and pride - the government having donated the land where the center was built - and is a shining example of fruitful collaboration between the state and international partners. Equipped with two training rooms, one practice room, a library and other facilities, this center has already trained the first batch of Clinical Trainers and is now ready to provide competency-based-training to healthcare providers in eastern DRC and, eventually, the country and the region.
Written by Jimmy Nzau in June 2014. For questions or further information, please contact Jimmy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also please visit SAF PAC at: http://familyplanning.care2share.wikispaces.net/SAF-PAC