Post-Ebola situational assessment of opportunities for capacity building at the national obstetrics and gynecology referral hospital in Sierra Leone

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2018 Apr;141(1):74-79. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.12374. Epub 2017 Nov 26.


Objective: To describe a site assessment of the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH; Freetown, Sierra Leone), the national referral center for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services and logical site for focused efforts to train and expand the RMNCAH workforce in Sierra Leone.

Methods: In April 2016, a mixed-methods assessment approach was used involving facility observation and staff interviews using the WHO's Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA) tool. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained.

Results: PCMH had 150 inpatient beds and provided care for more than 4600 deliveries in 2015. The number of maternal deaths increased at a rate of approximately 40% per month from January 2015 to June 2016 (P=0.005). Key factors requiring attention were identified in the categories of infrastructure and supplies, RMNCAH services, and human resources.

Conclusion: SARA provided a framework for identifying strengths and weaknesses in infrastructure and supplies, RMNCAH services, and human resources. The process described might serve as a model for evaluating obstetrics and gynecology training facilities in low- and middle-income countries. Human resources are currently insufficient for the volume and complexity of patients at PCMH. Numerous opportunities exist for strengthening healthcare services and capacity building in Sierra Leone.

Keywords: Clinical governance; Maternal mortality; OBGYN postgraduate education; Sierra Leone; Site assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Capacity Building*
  • Child
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetrics
  • Pregnancy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Sierra Leone