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African Health Sciences

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Access to continued professional education among health workers in Blantyre, Malawi

Adamson S Muula, Humphreys Misiri, Yamikani Chimalizeni, Davis Mpando, Chimota Phiri, Amos Nyaka

Abstract


Objective: To describe the current status of continued professional development (CPD) of healthcare personnel within the Ministry of Health (MoH) health centres in Blantyre, Malawi

Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study utilizing an interviewer-administered questionnaire.

Subjects: Healthcare workers in public health centers in Blantyre District, Malawi.

Results: Fifty-seven healthcare workers participated of whom 47 (82.5%) were nurses, 8 (14.0%) were either medical assistants or clinical officers, and one laboratory technician and a dental therapist. At the time of the study, 50(87.7%) were prescribers and 54 (94.7%) had ever issued a prescription for medications. Participation in workshops and seminars within the past 12 months was reported by 54 (94.7%) of the participants and 49 (86.0%) reported that their health facilities had clinical hand-over meetings. All participants indicated desire to receive professional journals for free while only 35 (61.4%) were willing to pay for a journal subscription. Current personal and institutional subscription to a journal was low, at 2 (3.5%) each. About 30% had been trained to conduct research and 23 (40.1%) had ever conducted research with only 3 (5.3%) ever written a journal or newsletter article. 47.4% had access to a working phone at work and only 3 (5.3%) had access to internet facilities at all. Only 21% were satisfied with their own knowledge on health matters.

Conclusions: Healthcare professionals in Blantyre\'s DHO zone are using mostly clinical hand-over meetings, seminars and workshops for their CPD. There is need to improve access to relevant professional journals. The regulatory or licensing boards for healthcare professional in Malawi should seriously consider mandatory CPD credits for re-registration
Key Words: Malawi, continued professional development
African Health Sciences Vol.4(3) 2004: 182-184



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