Training for midwives and health care workers is vital for obstetric and newborn care

Georgette Kavira practices resuscitating a newborn at a workshop on emergency obstetric and neonatal care led by MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience in North Kivu, DRC.

Training for midwives and health care workers is vital for obstetric and newborn care

This blog was authored by Dr. Enock Nzembela, a knowledge management and communications specialist with MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience in the DRC. 


MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by Corus organization IMA World Health, is active in some of the world's most challenging environments. The project works with midwives and other health workers in local communities to support maternal, newborn and child health.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu province, a region plagued by armed conflict and various shocks, MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience has made significant strides. It has successfully trained 74 midwives, including 40 women, on the correct use of the partograph to monitor pregnant women during labor and delivery. Additionally, 81 health workers, including 46 women, have been educated in emergency management for mothers and newborns. This emphasis on skilled midwifery and health care around the time of birth is crucial for reducing preventable deaths among mothers and their babies. 

Moreover, MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience has trained over 100 health care workers in North Kivu, reaching those in underserved and remote areas, on basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BeMONC) to help reduce morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and newborns. 

“One minute can mean a lifetime,” says Georgette Kavira, a 50-year-old nurse at the Turunga health facility in the Nyiragongo health zone of North Kivu.  

"In the past, when I received a newborn who started breathing with difficulty, I would just refer them to a neonatal care specialist for treatment. I am now grateful to MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience for having given me the knowledge and skills needed to provide basic resuscitation during the first minutes of a newborn’s life while waiting for a pediatrician to attend to those who need specialized care." 

Georgette was one of 15 health care workers trained by MOMENTUM during a seven-day workshop in Nyiragongo health zone on BeMONC. The training focused on equipping health care workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure safe childbirth and provide critical care for women and newborns facing complications. Additionally, the training emphasized the early identification of high-risk pregnancies, enabling timely referrals for more specialized treatment. 

MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience seeks to reduce preventable deaths among mothers and newborns by strengthening the training of midwives and frontline workers such as Georgette, thereby increasing access to high-quality health care.