Motsitsili Matolo is a midwife doubling as a nurse assistant at St. Peters Health Centre in Lesotho. Fully trained under the Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) programme, she performs a number of roles at the health facility.
“As a nurse assistant, I help conduct deliveries, consult patients, manage the under-five clinic, and do vaccinations and pap smears among other things,” Matolo explains.
Matolo is a beneficiary of a partnership between Amref Health Africa and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), which birthed the LMG programme that seeks to equip individuals in vulnerable areas with the skills they need to be outstanding members of their communities. Through the programme, Matolo was exposed to training that made her competent enough to assist in skilled delivery in health facilities. This was a crucial step as it helped reduce incidences of maternal and newborn deaths or complications.
“We are now able to provide skilled delivery at health facilities even without the presence of a medical practitioner,” Matolo asserts.
Matolo and her team also actively create awareness in their communities on the importance of skilled deliveries, pointing out the great successes recorded as reason enough to encourage more pregnant women to attend the health facilities. This, in turn, improves overall health indicators through a domino approach, with more women buying into the idea of skilled deliveries and shunning traditional birth attenders.
Part of the LMG programme also involved training on how to lobby with partner organisations when seeking funds, or equipment, that is much needed in the health facilities. “We are thinking of sourcing funds on our own. Amref Health Africa’s guidelines have helped us know how to do this. We also want to get equipment that will help us provide better care for the patients,” Matolo explains.
Matolo was very impressed by the emphasis on teamwork encouraged in the LMG programme. “The LMG training helped us understand teamwork and the role of every person in the facility. Through teamwork, we are able to provide more efficient care to the patients. I can honestly say that the number of patients has increased after the training,” Matolo asserts.
Indeed, the effects of the training have been tremendous, with Matolo encouraging more health workers to be put through the programme in order for the area to reap maximum benefits of the initiative. On Amref Health Africa, Matolo has only good words. “I am speechless. Amref Health Africa has helped us a lot and I wish they would continue with their work.”