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East African Medical Journal

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Immunisation Training Needs in Malawi

AY Tsega, HT Hausi, R Steinglass, GZ Chirwa

Abstract


Objectives: The Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH) and its immunisation partners conducted a training needs assessment in May 2013 to assess the current status of immunisation training programmemes in health training institutions, to identify unmet training needs, and to recommend possible solutions for training of health workers on a regular basis.
Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive study.
Setting: Health training institutions in Malawi, a developing country that does not regularly update its curricula to include new vaccines and  management tools, nor train healthcare workers on a regular basis.
Subjects: Researchers interviewed Malawi’s central immunisation manager, three zonal immunisation officers, six district officers, 12 health facility immunisation coordinators, and eight principals of training institutions.
Results: All health training institutions in Malawi include immunisation in their preservice training curricula. However, the curriculum is not regularly updated; thus, the graduates are not well equipped to provide quality services. In addition, the duration of the training curriculum is inadequate, and in-service training sessions for managers and service providers are conducted only on an ad hoc basis.
Conclusion: All levels of Malawi’s health system have not met sufficient training needs for providing immunisations, and the health training  institutions teach their students with outdated materials. It is  recommended that the training institutions update their training curricula regularly and the service providers are trained on a regular basis.



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