“Training is probably one of the biggest interventions in terms of making human resources available,” says Pape Gaye
, President and CEO of IntraHealth International
, to ECSP
’s Gib Clarke in this interview on improving maternal health services in developing countries. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems associated with training.”
Gaye says obstacles to scaling up maternal health services in rural areas include employee gender inequalities, poor coordination of supplemental training, and a tendency to only offer in-service training in urban areas. Properly emphasizing pre-service education, he underscores, could remedy some of the problems associated with service provider training.
Increasing retention of medical practitioners is also critical to improving maternal health services in developing countries, Gaye explains. In his experience, however, attempts to address perceived security and financial compensation inadequacies produced mixed results. Instead, Gaye suggests that positive recognition may be one of the best methods for retaining health care workers. “We’re seeing some very good successes in places where we have just simple ways to recognize the work… because if people feel valued in a community, then they are likely to stick it out.”