Development of a community-based maternal, newborn and child emergency training package in South Sudan

Public Health. 2013 Sep;127(9):797-805. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Aug 17.


Objective: To develop an evidence-based maternal, newborn and child emergency training package for community-based frontline health workers (FHWs) in post-conflict South Sudan.

Methods: In partnership with the new Republic of South Sudan, a multimodal needs assessment was conducted through purposive sampling, involving key informant interviews, focus group discussions, provider knowledge assessments and facility surveys. Data were analyzed using traditional qualitative techniques and compared with existing training programmes and curricula. These findings informed the development and implementation of the novel training approach.

Results: The needs assessment involved 33 FHWs, eight diverse health facilities in Eastern Equatoria, and stakeholders within 18 governmental and non-governmental organizations. Significant consensus emerged regarding the need for greater capacity among previously untrained FHWs. A maternal, newborn and child health training package was developed that included: (1) a participatory training course taught through a 'training of trainers' approach; (2) nine different pictorial action-based checklists covering basic management and referral of maternal, newborn and child emergencies; and (3) essential setting-appropriate equipment.

Conclusion: A novel maternal, newborn and child survival package was developed for previously untrained and illiterate FHWs in South Sudan. It is hoped that this approach will build community-based capacity in resource-limited settings while greater capacity is being developed for facility-based deliveries by skilled birth attendants.

Keywords: Child health; Curriculum; Maternal health; Newborn health; Traditional birth attendant; Training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Workers / education*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sudan