Wednesday January 25, 2012
A caring start
A new programme aims to empower nurses and midwives to provide more effective care to mothers as well as play a more important role in building patient relationship.
THE nation’s four top expert NGOs on maternal and infant care has announced a collaborative initiative to help make a positive impact on pregnancy and infant care.
This initiative, entitled “Mi-CARE (Maternal and Infant-CARE)”, is spearheaded and led by the Obstetrical and Gynaecology Society of Malaysia (OGSM), Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM), Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) and National Midwifery Society of Malaysia, and aims to strengthen practical training and knowledge of midlevel healthcare workers in obstetrics and gynaecology as well as paediatrics.
According to Dr Krishna Kumar, president of the OGSM and key force behind the conceptualisation of Mi-CARE, pregnancy is an amazing life-changing experience in a woman’s life. It is also a vulnerable time for her. “She requires good pregnancy care, which can be found from constructive interaction with healthcare providers and positive lifestyle measures that she takes herself.”
Comprising a series of nurses’ training workshops, scheduled to commence in the first quarter of this year, the Mi-CARE programme features a holistic body of knowledge on matters pertinent to maternal and infant health. Said Dr Krishna: “We want to impart relevant information more effectively and reinforce important key messages such as breast-feeding, vaccinations, pre- and post-natal nutrition, family planning and maternal mental health.”
The content of these informative and interactive training workshops has been developed by Malaysia’s leading medical and healthcare professionals in obstetrics and gynaecology, diet and nutrition, physiotherapy, anaesthesiology, paediatrics and nurse education.
Each nurse undergoing the training will also be given a detailed reference manual and counselling aids that provide more in-depth information on common maternal issues and problems.
Quipped Dr Krishna: “Mi-CARE workshop attendees should not be expecting anything conventional or orthodox. We do not carry out passive learning, but rather we want these nurses to engage us and together we learn how to deal with mothers and infants the appropriate way.
“The training workshops will enable nurses and nurse aides to keep up to date on matters concerning maternal and infant healthcare. This in turn leads to the provision of more effective care to mothers.”
“After undergoing Mi-CARE training, the nurses will become an even more valuable asset to clinics as they will be accorded the title of Resident Nurse for their respective clinics. This will in turn benefit doctors by further enhancing the high standards of patient care offered at their practice. As a benchmark of quality care and service, the participating clinic will be awarded a special Mi-CARE badge, endorsed by the four expert NGOs, to be displayed at the clinic’s entrance or a place where the public can easily spot it,” explained consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, an expert advisor to Mi-CARE.
Dr Tee E Siong, president of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia and also expert adviser to Mi-CARE, further shared that a mother has to be in a good state of health, be properly nourished, and have access to good antenatal care and proper confinement care in order to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
“As healthcare professionals, we find that the level of awareness among mothers, nurses and nurse aides can always be improved,” he added.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that properly trained auxiliary nurse midwives and nurses can provide effective intervention in cases of medical and labour room emergencies.
“Mi-CARE reflects the critical role of nurses and birth attendants in our healthcare system. A knowledgeable, highly-skilled, and well-equipped nursing workforce is crucial,” said T. Selvin Subramaniam, deputy director of Klang General Hospital and representative of the National Midwives’ Society of Malaysia.
As we begin the countdown to achieving the fourth and fifth United Nations Millennium Development Goal by the year 2015 (reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Malaysia), task-shifting to midlevel healthcare providers and the upgrading of their skills to provide safer care in pregnancy and reproductive health is a key agenda of the nation.
Doctors wishing to enrol nurses in the Mi-CARE Programme can call the Secretariat at 03-5621 1408 or call the toll-free centre at 1800-88-9033.