The government of Ghana is committed to improving newborn health as one of its national priorities. The ‘Making Every Baby Count Initiative’ (MEBCI) was jointly designed by Ghana Health Service (GHS) and PATH to support the realisation of this national goal.
MEBCI strengthens capacity and skills to improve quality of care around the time of birth for mothers and their babies. The programme follows a four-pronged approach. First, it builds healthcare provider clinical capacity by delivering a detailed training curriculum for health personnel. Second, it ensures commodities such as basic resuscitation devices are accessible in the target health facilities. Third, it increases stakeholder ownership of newborn care by liaising with relevant national and regional policy makers, facility managers, local communities and the general public. Fourth, it improves national leadership capacity to ensure that newborn care features prominently on the national health agenda, receives appropriate funding and sustainable uptake.
The project goal is that by 2018, 90% of newborns born in selected health facilities in target regions will receive essential newborn care and appropriate interventions to address asphyxia, infection and prematurity.
Achievements to date include the development of a 5-day newborn care training curriculum that addresses three key areas for MEBCI intervention- asphyxia, preterm birth and infection prevention. MEBCI training modules have been taken up as national newborn care training modules, and has been rolled out through partner projects in regions across Ghana.
As of December 2016, 65% of healthcare providers had received initial MEBCI training. MEBCI’s target was to train a total of 4232 providers across four regions. This figure was revised down to 3943 to ensure that staff received a third follow-up visit one calendar year after their MEBCI training. By the end of November 2016, a total of 2565 (65%) of providers had been trained, including 124 regional trainers who area also providers within the target regions. With more training sessions scheduled, the remaining 1378 (35) of providers are expected to receive the full training and three follow-up visits by August 2017.
Click here (PDF) to read an evaluation into the validity of the tool to test knowledge of practices and save babies’ lives in their first hours and days of life.