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The Pacific Emergency Maternal and Neonatal Training (PEMNeT) workshop held in Auckland 31July-2Aug was a huge success. Thirty five participants from elev2016-07-31 09.50.41en countries in the Pacific took part in the training programme. The train-the-trainers workshop is part of the the implementation strategy to embed the PEMNeT training programme in professional educational activities.

Dr Alec Ekeroma has been leading the development of the programme since 2014. “We are moving away from ad-hoc training workshops into embedding training in emergency prevention and death avoidance in everyday routine professional activities” said Dr  Ekeroma.

Mrs Brownwyn Robinson, an educationalist at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has been co-editing the PEMNeT Facilitators Guide, providing sound educational principles into the programme.  “The training modules are flexible and the delivery of a module depends on the learning needs of the participants on a given day,” she said.

Dr James Fong, who leads the PSRH PEMNeT workshops, has been leading the development and dissemination of a similar programme in Fiji. “We need to support the development of flexible learning modules that acknowledges the differences in staffing levels and resources in each given setting,” he said.

The training included emergency drills using participants as actors and mannequins supplied by Middlemore Hospital Auckland. The facilitators in Drs Martin Sowter and Sharon Bolitho emphasised that it was always better to use an actor in role playing and that inexpensive props, clinical protocols/guidelines, action list and scripts for the actors can be prepared and stored in a box so that the trainers can access them easily for training purposes. “We have prepared some of these and can provide more generic lists for trainers to modify when needed,” Dr Sowter said.

Evaluation of the workshop is currently being performed and support for the dissemination of the programme will continue with support from the PSRH Secretariat.

We would like to thank NZAID, WHO, UNFPA (PNG), RANZCOG and some Ministries of Health for making this initiative possible. It has been shown that similar workshops have saved lives.

Emergencies happen. Well-trained staff can prevent emergencies. Well-trained staff can save lives when emergencies happen.  

Email Sheetal Naidu with any questions.