Zimbabwe on top with recruitment for the feasibility study
Our cross sectional study revealed that women with a previous stillbirth are at an increased risk of having another stillbirth. The feasibility study, which is a specialised antenatal clinic (Thembani Clinic) for women in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth at Mpilo Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, will seek to improve care for those women.
In preparation for the start of our feasibility study, we began to assemble our study site files. There was a lot of paperwork involved for us (Mrs Skhue Mremi and Mrs Grace Danda). Once completed though, we appreciated how important our files will be for the smooth running of our study. It was an exciting experience for both of us.
After completing preparation of the files, recruitment of participants commenced which included; women attending antenatal clinic at our hospital following stillbirth, midwives, obstetricians and administrators working on the antenatal clinic for focus group discussions. We have also improved our skills around performing Focus Group Discussions with staff and we really enjoyed learning how to interview participants without leading questions. We have achieved this by spending time self-reflecting about our interview techniques, as well as observing each other for feedback.
Throughout this month and the project as a whole, we continued to have strong support from Dr Christina Rawdon (LAMRN Mentor) and Mrs Kushupika Dube (NIHR Stillbirth project lead) and our UK colleagues, Dr Rebecca Smyth and Professor Alexander Heazell.
At this stage, we already appreciate the fruits of our work: 20 women recruited and 6 focus groups conducted with staff members. We feel that we’re actively and positively contributing to reduce the high stillbirth rate in our area and we hope that with the start of the Thembani clinic, women with previous history of stillbirth will finally receive the care they deserve.
Grace Danda and Skhue Mremi
Zimbabwe Research Assistants