JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Clinical skills laboratories for continuous professional development: Cultivating a culture of self-directed, simulation-based learning


In recent decades, the Government of Ethiopia has made significant investments in the health workforce and infrastructure to improve maternal and child health services. Despite this, the Ethiopian health system still faces complex challenges including a shortage of human resources and medical supplies, inadequate infrastructure, weak referral linkages, and uneven provision of quality care to its population. Evidence shows that the shortage of health care workers and their low skill levels contribute to poor quality reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) services in Ethiopia. The 2016 national emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) assessment report reveals that only a small proportion of midwives were trained on basic EmONC. Addressing the low skill level of practicing midwives and other health care workers providing service to women, newborns, and children is critical.

As a building block of the health system, Ethiopia’s health workforce needs sustained skills building and staff distribution strategies to achieve sustainable development goals and universal health coverage. Solutions include addressing staff skill tracking, professional development and training approaches, incentives, and ensuring that the right people are in the right positions. These solutions lie in both pre-service and in-service capacity building options, along with continuous job performance support and supervision. Pre-service training needs to be followed by consistent, comprehensive, competency-based in-service training to ensure satisfactory health services within a functioning health system. However, to date, the delivery of in-service training packages has been inconsistent in training duration, content, and coverage and tends to be didactic rather than competency-based.

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