A Registered Medical Charity (NI Charity No 100712) providing lifesaving training for health professionals in AfricaAims
ELSSA aims to promote, develop and deliver high quality health care and professional skills training for medical, midwifery, nursing and community practitioners in low resource countries in Africa, initially concentrating on South Sudan.
- Training – Promote and develop high quality health care and professional skills training for low resource countries or regions.
- Sustainability – Aims to develop a core group for health care facilitators and trainers within the country or region who would sustain ongoing programmes of skills, training and post-graduate development.
- Mentoring – Promote and facilitate the development of relevant skills and training by providing training and mentorship in appropriate institutions including the use of computer and internet based technology.
- Partnerships – Develop a working associations and partnerships with relevant government statutory bodies, local communities, non-government organisations, existing structures, organisations and institutions in order to promote, improve and develop professional medical and health care skills.
ELSSA promotes and delivers high quality professional skills training for medical, midwifery, nursing and community practitioners in Africa.
EONC courses are used widely in Africa and have been proven effective. The EONC course uses a mixture of adult learning techniques including lectures, inter-active scenarios, practical skills and drills training.
Essential Obstetric (Mother) and Newborn Care (EONC) retraining courses for midwives, clinical officers and doctors, address the major causes of maternal and neonatal deaths and morbidity; haemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, obstructed labour, miscarriage and new-born resuscitation.
To date 357 South Sudanese health professionals – 148 doctors and associate clinicians, 209 midwives and 17 midwifery tutors have attended the ELSSA EONC courses, gaining additional knowledge and skills. The value of EONC courses is established beyond question, pre- and post-course assessments show significant increases in knowledge and skills. Increasing the neonatal resuscitation skills will alone save many lives.
It can be estimated that an EONC attendee (midwife, clinical assistant, doctor) will provide care for 7-10,000 maternities in a 30-year career. So, this means that the attendees for each course may be responsible for over 3 million maternities over their careers.
Even if these figures are over estimated by 50% it still represents excellent value for money. Should this EONC training contribute to South Sudan reducing its horrendous maternal mortality to the average of the Sub-Saharan African states this would represent an enormous saving of life and improvement in basic services.
An important objective of the ELSSA team is developing and mentoring South Sudanese facilitators. This is the vitally important group, who with support; will roll out the EONC courses to the regional centres and primary health care facilities were the major beneficial impact will occur. A number of South Sudanese facilitators have been recruited and with training will develop as effective teachers. ELSSA is committed to jointly assess needs and develop the programme and strategy with its South Sudan partners.
- The ELSSA EONC programme has been approved by the Minster of Health, South Sudan; Dr Reik Gai Kokanda partnership agreement was signed May 2017.
- The South Sudan College of Physicians and Surgeons, aims to develop a postgraduate medical education programme and centre(PGMEC), on the Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH) site.
- The Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM) is our longstanding partner, has hosted the EONC programme since its inception in this superb teaching facility.
- Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, with postgraduate education and teaching skills
- Specialist midwives with both Academic/teaching and service skills
- Specialist Neonatal nurses and Specialist Neonatal Nurse trainers
- Specialist Neonatologists with postgraduate education and teaching skills
All the ELSSA volunteers are experienced clinicians and postgraduate teachers. As volunteers the ELSSA team provide an extensive specialist resource at minimal cost i.e. expenses incurred only.
‘Perform an operation, save a life.
Teach an operation, save hundreds.’
South Sudan has some of the worst rates of Maternal and Newborn deaths in Africa, an estimated 789 women dying for every 100,000 births (in UK it is 8 per 100,000; UNDP, WHO Country Cooperation Strategy data 2014).
It is said, ‘A girl has more chance dying in childbirth than finishing secondary school’.
Despite considerable efforts by many agencies the Maternal Mortality rate has stagnated at this unacceptably high level. The long war for independence, the recent inter-tribal conflict has resulted in immense problems of internally displaced persons/refugees. These have resulted in poor regional infrastructure and a very fragile health care system largely dependent on International Aid Organisations.
There are insufficient medical and nursing staff to cope with the demands and so organised post graduate or in-service training has been virtually non-existent.