Training is a critical component of quality family planning service delivery, yet until recently, Nigeria’s national family planning training curriculum had not been updated since 2015. As a result, organizations have individually been adapting training curricula and use different training modules of varying levels of quality to build the capacity of health workers. To harmonize the training of family planning providers and standardize the quality of service delivery, the Federal Ministry of Health convened reproductive health stakeholders to review the national training manuals and ensure all required updates were incorporated.
The ministry asked SHOPS Plus, whose objective is to increase the capability of public and private health providers to deliver quality family planning services, and other partners, to support the review. Dr. Dah, a SHOPS Plus master trainer, has been part of the team of consultants managing the review process. In two 5-day technical meetings stakeholders reviewed four training manuals (trainers’ manuals and participants’ reference books for doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health extension workers), as well as the post-training follow-up tool. Participants shared their experiences using the manuals to train providers and SHOPS Plus introduced stakeholders to some enhancements the project used to improve learners’ experience. These included facilitating active learning, exercises on provider bias, teaching and evaluating knowledge, attitude and skills, role playing and values clarification exercises, and a review of critical information in the 2018 Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers.
The stakeholders suggested new modules on a range of topics such as complicated removal of implants, incidents management, postpartum long-acting reversible contraception, values clarification, gender issues, provider biases, as well as provision of youth friendly family planning services. Participants at the two technical meetings included representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, State Ministries of Health and Primary Health Care Boards, regulatory agencies, donors, implementing partners, professional associations, and teaching institutions.
The third meeting will be a validation meeting where stakeholders will have a final look at the documents after the consultants have incorporated all inputs and suggestions. This will be followed by the approval of the Honorable Minister of Health and a national dissemination of the reviewed documents for use by all reproduction health and family planning programs.
Through this review process, the stakeholders improved the family planning training curriculum with active learning modules. It is set to become standardized with widespread support throughout the country in 2020.
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