Building Capacity of Six African Countries to Strengthen Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition

This story was originally published by the World Health Organization

Entebbe, 29th October 2019 – The Ministry of Health, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), conducted a five-day workshop to build the capacity of program managers and WHO country office staff to better manage and improve service delivery in the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH&N) program.

The course was designed by WHO and is being taught to health program managers on the African continent for the first time. It will build the capacity of the managers to integrate health programs to serve women, children and adolescents irrespective of where they live and ensure that they access required health care services.

The Director of Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Olaro officially opened the meeting and commended WHO for increasingly building the capacity of health workers in the WHO African Region. He further said, “Public Health is a constantly evolving field that requires consistent research and knowledge acquisition, for which WHO is playing a key role.”

Dr Olaro committed the support of Uganda’s Ministry of Health to improve its RMNCAH program, adding that maternal and child health are key program areas in the Health Sector Development Plan, and “As such, we take them seriously.”

The National Professional Officer- Child and Adolescent Health at WHO Uganda, Dr Bodo Bongomin who represented the WHO Country Representative at the meeting noted that the training is in line with Uganda’s priority of improving governance and management of the health sector for improved service delivery.

Uganda’s Under-five and Maternal Mortality Ratio at 64 per 1000 and 336 per 100,000 live births respectively remain unacceptably high by both global and regional standards; with almost half of the under-five mortality contributed to by neonatal mortality.

“These worrying morbidity and mortality statistics are contributed to by low service utilization that is seen in key services areas such as low contraception prevalence at only 35% and high unmet need for family planning among others,” he said.

Indeed, the capacity building workshop will contribute to the bigger goal of contributing to the reduction of Maternal newborn and child deaths; through ensuring increased access to quality RMNCAH&N services.

The training is attended by RMNCAH program managers from six countries including Botswana, Eritrea, Eswatini, The Republic of South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.

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