Participants ready to embark on a training session
As the rest of the African continent dealt with the impact of COVID-19, Uganda quickly went into lockdown in an attempt to limit the number of people going into and out of the country, which led to lower initial infection rates. However, recently the Ugandan government eased restrictions allowing private vehicles to operate and reopened a few businesses and public offices. As various countries have witnessed an increase in infections while easing restrictions, experts have warned that Uganda may not be spared. In preparation for any breakout of the virus, the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) team and faculty from the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM) Uganda in partnership with the KfW development bank conducted a series of training sessions for frontline nurses and midwives.
An urgent need to train frontline nurses and midwives
The team facilitated three training sessions, between April 22 and June 3, 2020, via video call and Moodle, an online teaching and learning platform. Lillian Nuwabaine, CPD coordinator at AKU-SONAM in Uganda contended that “in response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, there was an urgent need to train frontline nurses and midwives in Emergency and Critical Care and Infection Prevention and Control", citing this as the reason the sessions were established. The team also supplied data bundles to participants to ensure that the essential workers were able to join the sessions successfully and inexpensively.
Preventing the spread in healthcare settings
More than ninety nurses and midwives attended the sessions and covered several concerns including sanitation and sterilization in ICU settings, guidelines for infection control, handling of patients, personal protective equipment and waste segregation. One of the participants, Gerald Atwine, the President and co-founder of Bulamu Healthcare International shared that he “enjoyed that the sessions were based on data, were well organized, the subject matter was communicated and coordinated excellently and the lessons applied to the current situation."
Professor Grace Edwards, faculty at AKU-SONAM Uganda acknowledged that “the courses were successful and a great learning experience to all of us. We now have more incoming training requests from nurses and midwives working in various health facilities amidst the pandemic." She further thanked sponsors such as KfW development bank “for their part in availing support for the training sessions".
COVID cases are increasing in Uganda after a few restrictions were eased, and it is vital to equip nurses and midwives with adequate knowledge, information and belief that they can overcome the virus. There will be several similar training initiatives in the future. To find out more you can send an email to email@example.com