Ten Providers Trained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Counseling Women with Fistula

DRC counseling curriculum
Training participants outside of Panzi Hospital, DRC.

For women living with obstetric fistula, suffering is not only physical, but also carries psychological, and social consequences. As a result, providing pre- and postoperative counseling is an essential part of the healing process. Counseling the Obstetric Fistula Client: A Training Curriculum (PDF, 2.5 MB; French, PDF, 2.8 MB) was developed to address this gap in service delivery. Trainings using this new curriculum for nurses, midwives and physicians were organized at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC. Trainers from Guinea (EngenderHealth staff) partnered with trainers from Panzi Hospital and a representative of the Provincial Health Ministry to conduct the training sessions from October 18 to 26, 2012. The two-part training consisted of an orientation for the trainers, followed by a five-day training for 10 providers at Panzi Hospital (including nurses, doctors, and social workers assisting obstetric and traumatic fistula clients). The 10 health care providers from Panzi Hospital were trained through theoretical sessions and practical application, in which participants and trainers took part in collaborative group discussions, question-and-answer sessions, case studies, and role playing and were able to apply their learned skills in counseling preoperative fistula clients. The training was received with a great deal of satisfaction, and participants agreed that the skills developed during the training could be applied to their work. Pre- and posttests demonstrated  a significant increase in participant knowledge and understanding.