ICAP Sierra Leone in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the U.S Embassy in Freetown and the Health Resources & Services Administration has on Thursday, June 10, 2021, commissioned simulation laboratories at the School of Midwifery in Bo and the Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema respectively.
The facilities will help midwifery and nursing students to practice and understand real-time maternal and childbirth procedures through simulation using high fidelity mannequin so that the learning gap of what is being taught at the learning centres and that which is practised at the hospitals will be bridged.
However, these facilities were introduced in the country with support from the United States Government through the Health Resources and Services Administration which provided funding to ICAP Columbia University to prudently refurbish and equip the laboratories in Bo and Kenema respectively. The simulation labs will play a vital role in contributing to the reduction of the maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone, which over the years has been a major concern in the country’s health sector. They will also help in improving the care of pregnant women and their newborn babies. It will also prepare nurses to catch more babies and make families of pregnant women happy.
Gracing the occasions in Bo and Kenema was the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Amb. David Reimer, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Austin Demby, Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, the Deputy Minister of Health 1, Dr Amara Jambai, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr T.T. Samba and many other stakeholders in the healthcare system.
In his address to the gathering, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Demby, stated that the commissioning of the skills lab will play a vital role in addressing maternal and child mortality issues in the country, by empowering midwives and medical staff in that area. He further complimented the efforts of the health workforce who have worked drastically to reduce the country’s maternal and child mortality rate and further encouraged them to continue in such a drive. “You’re not only helping to professionally deliver a healthy baby, but you are also doing a duty to support our country’s human capital,” he stated.
Furthermore, the United States Ambassador, Ambassador Reimer assured members of the public about the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting the country in building a better health sector and later urged the midwives to practice both their theory and practical experience through simulation exercise to improve their level of competence.
The ICAP at Columbia University representative, Dr Susan Michaels Strasser, emphasised the role of clinical simulation in strengthening midwifery education in her resounding presentation. Finally, in an interview with the Principal of the School of Midwifery Bo, Matron Patricia Mokowa, she stated that with the provisions of the high fidelity mannequins she is expecting students to improve more than before so that when they get to the clinical setting they will be able to do their job perfectly without facing any constraints.