Final thoughts on the audit of stillbirth in Malawi
Chisomo Petross, Research Assistant
It has been a great experience following through the audit cycle in the stillbirth audit. My position in the audit gave me an opportunity to practice my research skills, learn from experts and interact with amazing health workers championing maternal care amidst health system drawbacks. My biggest lesson is that to achieve an objective, the objective has to be developed by all players, along the way –the passionate and motivated players need to tirelessly motivate those around them, and put in place a stronger system of motivation for both to stay. Frustrations were inevitable when working in a system with limited resources, yet they motivate us to do more. Negotiation, persistence, dedication, patience and most of all the ‘goals for the project’ were the pillars to push on.
I love it when midwives call me ‘checklist’ or ‘partograph’ because I knew how familiar they are to the quality indicators we were pushing to achieve. Today, I am happy for the progress we have made so far in improving care for women giving birth, and I encourage all players to continue their great work.
Isabella Chisuse, Research Assistant
Working on a clinical audit has improved my research skills. Importantly, the current stillbirth audit has helped me to appreciate the grieving process experienced by women who have lost their baby. In particular the experience has enhanced my communication skills in enabling me to care for these women at such a difficult time in their lives. In addition, the audit has strengthened my capability of adhering to ethical guidelines in collecting data especially when obtaining informed consent.
During the implementation of the audit Action Plan, it was encouraging to observe the improved teamwork among health workers the corollary of which increased their work satisfaction as well as care provided to women. During my role and providing continuous supportive supervision to the clinicians I noted the improvement of clinical care and outcomes. This experience demonstrated to me the importance of reviewing clinical care and appreciating improvements can be made.
RA Isabella Chisuse with the night duty team during data collection.