Supporting safe births in Myanmar

In partnership with WaterAid Myanmar, Jhpiego, and Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sport (MoHS), the ‘Supporting Safe Births in Myanmar’ project is funded by the Australian Government’s Water for Women Fund and seeks to improve the quality and safety of healthcare at the time of birth.

The project, which will run until 2023, is being carried out in five township hospitals in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar and is focusing on good hygiene practices and cleanliness, and addressing current gaps in infection prevention and control (IPC). Soapbox’s main focus in 2018-19 was quality improvement and the training and supervision of the hospital cleaning staff.

TEACH CLEAN Implementation in Myanmar

Dr Thinn Myat Mon demonstrates the TEACH CLEAN illustrated guidelines.

In early 2019, Soapbox’s Dr Liz Goodburn and Professor Wendy Graham travelled to Yangon, Myanmar from the UK to lead an orientation workshop for project partners on the TEACH CLEAN package to share knowledge required to plan, adapt, implement and evaluate training of cleaning staff in healthcare facilities.

Materials for the CLEAN boxes were sourced locally by Soapbox-WaterAid Project Officer Dr Thinn Myat Mon, and the workshop included demonstrations from Liz, Wendy and Thinn to highlight the participatory approach of the training. It also provided an opportunity for partners to raise queries.

Wendy demonstrated cleaning of a blood spill following the visual prompts on the TEACH CLEAN Illustrated Cleaning Guidelines. She also highlighted the pros and cons of different mop types, which led to her subsequently being referred to as Professor Mop de Bucket!

TEACH CLEAN emphasises the importance of continual supportive supervision to enable monitoring of standards, highlight areas in need of improvement, and ensure that cleaning staff have the required knowledge and skills to perform their role. Liz and WaterAid Health Co-ordinator Dr So Pyay Naing performed a role play during the workshop to demonstrate the difference between unsupportive and supportive supervision.

“The workshop was very well received and participants all agreed that it was an excellent opportunity to familiarise themselves with both the practical aspects of healthcare facility cleaning and the interactive style of training that is used in TEACH CLEAN.” – Dr Liz Goodburn

Relevant parts of the package have now been translated into Burmese and the teaching modules have been reviewed to emphasise the practical nature of the training. A formal Training of Trainers workshop with the Regional Training Team and senior staff from the five township hospitals is planned for late-2019.