Annie Chadwick and Cathie Mahar, nurses from St John of God, were in VQQ in March for 11 days to teach Basic Life Support and hand hygiene. Thirty-one of a possible forty-three nurses and midwives employed in the sub-district attended training, and the outcomes were very good.
For the first time in the St John of God health capacity building program in VQQ, pre- and post-testing of the training material was performed, and the results showed a satisfying increase in knowledge. The nurses and midwives were required to be able to demonstrate competency to a pass rate of 75% in theoretical knowledge in both training packages, and to demonstrate competency to 100% in the practical skill of basic life support.
The training packets presented were part of a suite of nursing competencies developed by St John of God nursing program at Guido Valdares National Hospital in Dili and approved by the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Science in Timor-Leste. It is expected the competencies will be an annual requirement for all nurses and midwives in Timor-Leste in keeping with international standards of nursing.
A vaccination fridge supplied by Lions in Geelong was unpacked and placed in the maternity unit at the hospital. Having the fridge means vaccinations can be kept at VQQ in correct cold chain temperature-controlled conditions instead of being brought by motor bike from Baucau in small lots. Cathie and Annie had a refreshing break on the beach at Beacu with Madre Fidelia, from the St Francis of Assisi orphanage in VQQ.
Cathie Mahar International Health Project Officer St John of God Geelong