Enhancing sexual and reproductive health research in Northern Nigeria
One day GFMER scientific/information session report
Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER)
in Partnership with
Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Kaduna State, Nigeria
February 25, 2016
Tafawa Balewa Guest Inn, 10 Tafawa Balewa Way. Unguwar Rimi G.R.A, Kaduna State, Nigeria
This report has been prepared by Dr. Aisha Abubakar Sadiq a graduate of Geneva Foundation for medical education and research (GFMER) online course on sexual and reproductive health research (SRHR 2014). The session was facilitated by Dr. Aisha Abubakar Sadiq and Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) resident Dr. Obafemi Babalola.
The organizers appreciate the support of GFMER, Switzerland and the entire faculty and staff of its online sexual and reproductive health research course.
The organizers are also grateful to the Kaduna State Government, Staff of the planning department Ministry of Health and Human Services and Tafawa Balewa Guest inn for assisting with planning and technical support for the event.
I express my profound gratitude and regards to the following persons, who contributed their time in secretarial and technical support at the session: Assoc Prof. Abdullahi Jibrin Randawa, Mrs Saadatu Murtala Zubair, Dr. Amina Mohammed, Dr Zainab Idris, Dr Ado Zakari, Professor Andrew Nok (Commissioner Ministry of health/human services), Aisha Aliyu, Mathew Jacob and Tijjani Abubakar. I acknowledge Miss Hadiza Yunusa and her team of event planners for ensuring a well organized/ catered session.
We acknowledge the continued support and commitment of GFMER / partners in providing training to healthcare workers especially in sub-Saharan Africa with existing barriers in access to qualitative post-graduate education in sexual and reproductive health.
Since 2003 the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partner institutions, has organized a training course on sexual and reproductive health research. The course focuses on research methodology and attracts participation of health professionals from different countries and particularly from developing countries. In order to reach more health professionals, in 2010 GFMER in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners launched the online course on sexual and reproductive health research. "From Research to Practice: Training Course in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research" that offers a training package specially developed for those health professionals involved in research, whose access to learning is limited by time, financial resources or other constraints and for whom access to quality education and learning is limited. The program is designed to meet a wide range of contemporary issues in sexual and reproductive health, especially in developing countries. It helps students to better identify the problems related to reproductive and sexual health, it helps to improve the skills of caregivers, and it promotes good practices.
Selected Participants from the GFMER online course in sexual and reproductive health research (SRHR) spend one week in Geneva at an intensive research workshop. Some graduates continue with the foundation as country advisors and co-coordinators responsible for supporting training and dissemination of information on the foundation and its training programmes. The foundation in 2011 in partnership with the MacArthur foundation organized a training session for healthcare workers in Sokoto state, Nigeria (The Oxford Evidence-based Management of Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia Training Course in Sokoto, Nigeria, December 10, 2011). The session on management of eclampsia was well received with requests for future collaborations in training.
This one day scientific and information session served to further training and research opportunities for health care workers in the field of human reproduction through provision of a forum to discuss relevant scientific developments/research in the field, ongoing community level interventions and introduce the online training course of Sexual and reproductive health research. The session was organized around the core modules of the training course with presentations on maternal/child health, research, community genetics and adolescent health (see workshop agenda).
The main objectives of the one day session were to; introduce the health care community in Nigeria to the online training course, Provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss projects on relevant key areas, to establish and strengthen linkages between public and private practitioners in the reproductive health field and to encourage open and interactive discussions on realistic challenges in reproductive healthcare provision.
Keynote address: ‘’Reducing maternal mortality through high impact interventions: Emerging challenges and opportunities’’
Associate Professor Abdullahi Randawa
Subtheme: ‘’Introducing online sexual and reproductive health training (SRHR)’’
GFMER Country Advisor/ state epidemiologist: Dr. Aishatu Abubakar-Sadiq
Workshop agenda for GFMER scientific/information session
- Opening Prayers
- Opening remarks: Dr. Aishatu Abubakar Sadiq
- Reducing maternal mortality through high impact interventions: Emerging challenges and opportunities - Dr. Abdullahi Randawa (ABUTH)
- Overview of GFMER/SRHR - Dr. Aishatu Abubakar Sadiq
- Reaching adolescents through health-workers/peers - Dr. Obafemi Babalola (NFTELP)
- Clubfoot: Establishing surveillance and providing care in Kaduna State - Mrs Wunmi (Sure steps Nigeria)
- Group discussion
- Closing: Dr. Aishatu Abubakar Sadiq
Profile of the participants
Eighty participants who attended the workshop were selected from departments of obstetrics & gynecology in health facilities, departments of pediatrics in health facilities, UNICEF, WHO, MNCH2, UNFPA, SUNMAP, Federal ministry of health, State Ministry of health, media, Public/private hospitals, Nursing/midwifery council, Nigeria Medical association (NMA), Kaduna State University (KASU), Nigeria Field epidemiology and Laboratory training Programme (NFELTP), Federation of Muslim women’s association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Midwives service scheme (MSS), National Primary healthcare development Agency (NPHCDA), State Primary healthcare development Agency (KSPHCDA) and Kaduna State Action committee on Aids (KADSACA). Participants comprised of Medical Doctors, Nurses and reproductive health officers from Key organizations. A representative of the Emirate council was present on behalf of the traditional leaders in the State. There were 41 women and 39 men in attendance for the session.
Performance and end of session feedback
The session lasted from 9:30am-4:30pm with presentations in the morning and discussion groups around the core module topics after lunch. Participants were divided into groups of 12 to discuss challenges in all assigned areas; Adolescent health, maternal/child health, community genetics and sexually transmitted infections. Group leaders presented conclusions from each discussion group to the audience.
Each participant received a monogrammed ‘’GFMER’’ gift bag containing hard copies of the SRHR course brochure, SRHR Course guide, letter bound notebook, monogrammed key holder/pen and a monogrammed face towels. E-copies of all presentations and SRHR materials were sent to participants on conclusion of the workshop.
Main conclusions arrived at the end of the day include:
- Need for funding/sponsorship of interested staff by their organizations to undertake the online course in sexual and reproductive health research.
- Graduates of the SRHR course from Nigeria should assist potential applicants in the application process to increase chances of selection into the course.
- The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) enroll GFMER as a provider of continuum medical education (CME) certifying participants with appropriate credit scores.
- The Ministry of health organizes more scientific sessions with graduated of the GFMER course to disseminate their research findings and those of practitioners working in the field of Human reproduction.
- A database is to be created of all participants and a Google group/ what’s app group for sharing relevant information on trainings, publications and workshops for greater in-country collaboration.
- Future scientific and information sessions are held during weekends to enable maximal attendance, as some participants had to juggle multiple work related commitments to attend.
- The foundation GFMER organize more information sessions in partnership with teaching hospitals to introduce residents in related specialties; OBGYN and pediatrics to the course. In order to fill the absence of intensive research training in their residency programmes within Nigerian Teaching Hospitals.