Health care workers experiences in emergency obstetric care following implementation of an in-service training program: case of 2 Referral Hospitals in Botswana

  • Ludo Nkhwalume
  • Yohana Mashalla
Keywords: Maternal mortality; health care workers; EMOC, in-service training.


Background: Maternal mortality rate remains a challenge in many developing countries.

Objectives: This study explored experiences of Health Care Workers on Emergency Obstetrics Care (EMOC) in-service training and its effect on maternal mortality.

Methods: Descriptive qualitative study design was conducted using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Par- ticipants were EMOC trained midwives and doctors purposively selected from the 2 referral hospitals in the country. Data were transcribed verbatim, coded, and analysed using Grounded Theory approach.

Results: Four themes emerged including training, EMOC implementation, maternal death factors and EMOC prioritisation. The duration of training was viewed inadequate but responsiveness to and confidence in managing obstetric emergencies improved post EMOC training. Staff shortage, HCWs non-adherence and negative attitude to EMOC guidelines; delays in instituting interventions, inadequate community involvement, minimal or no health talk to women and their partners and communities on sexual reproductive matters and non-prioritisation of EMOC by authorities were concerns raised.

Conclusion: Strengthening health education at health facility levels, stakeholders’ involvement; and prioritising EMOC in-service training are necessary in reducing the national maternal mortality.

Keywords: Maternal mortality; health care workers; EMOC, in-service training.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905