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Training Bill Brieger | 26 Nov 2019 08:37 am

Retention of malaria technical and training knowledge and skills by master mentors and general trainers in Myanmar

Ni Ni Aye,* San Kyawt Khine, May Aung Lin, Saw Lwin, Khin Than Win, Khin Lin, May Sandi Htin Aung, and Wyut Yi Shoon Lai Wai presented a poster on “Retention of technical and training knowledge and skills by master mentors and general trainers in three States/ Regions in Myanmar” at the 68 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their findings are shared below.

The National Malaria Control Program  of Myanmar aims to achieve malaria elimination through equitable and universal access to effective preventive and curative services to all at-risk populations in coordination with communities, national and international non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

The PMI-funded Defeat Malaria project supports the National Strategic Plan’s objective to reduce the malaria burden and contribute to malaria elimination in part through capacity development of integrated community malaria volunteers (ICMVs), a new type of cadre introduced in 2017.

Specifically, Defeat Malaria aims to improve this new cadre’s knowledge and skills in malaria epidemiology, prevention, and case management through a community-based intervention approach. 16 State/Regional (S/R) level master trainers (MTs) were trained from Kayin and Rakhine States and Tanintharyi Region, 13 of whom then trained 55 general trainers (GTs) in the same S/R to build the capacity of ICMVs.

Goals of the PMI Defeat Malaria Project (15 August 2016 – 14 August 2021) are to Reduce malaria burden, and to Control artemisinin-resistant malaria in target area Eliminate malaria in Myanmar. The Objectives of Defeat Malaria are to Ahieve universal coverage of at-risk populations, Strengthen malaria surveillance system, Enhance provider technical capacity and Promote community and public- and private-sector involvement in malaria control and elimination.

The specific Objectives of this study were To develop a cadre of core trainers with updated knowledge and skills in community based interventions to carry out cascade training of ICMVs in 3 S/R. It also aimed To evaluate the retention of knowledge and skills in malaria interventions and training techniques pre-training, immediately post-training, and at 9 months post-training, and in the process To improve training skills (facilitation, demonstration and coaching) during subsequent trainings.

Methodology For Master Mentors (MM) was a 5-day technical update session on malaria epidemiology, prevention and case management through a community-based intervention approach was conducted, followed by 5-day training skills course. For the general trainers (GT) a 5-day technical update and training skills course was provided.

Pre-training, immediate post-training and 9-month post-training malaria knowledge assessment was conducted using multiple choice questions. At the 9-month point a post-training assessment of training skills (facilitation, demonstration and coaching) using standardized checklists was undertaken.

In Conclusion, Master mentors who have basic knowledge of malaria technical and training skills became knowledgeable and competent on both skills (i.e. those from State/Regional level). Training modules on coaching skills need to be practiced more in TOT so that General Trainers can improve their skills. Project staff should emphasize why use of checklists to improve training skills is important, as this is a new element for local staff.

MM need continuous coaching to retain updated knowledge on malaria technical skills and their facilitation and coaching skills during the TOT and subsequent trainings. MM who are selected from district level and all General Trainers from Township level need even more practice and support. Project staff need to work with local NMCP staff as they learn coaching and mentoring in technical and training skills of GTs during their supervision visits to ICMVs at village level.

Actions taken in Project Year 3 (2018-2019) were based on assessment findings. MM and GT need more coaching after training to maintain knowledge and training skills. Selection of Master Mentors from State/Regional levels with knowledge of malaria and training skills improves retention of knowledge and skills post-training.

Township level NMCP staff had more time to conduct trainings than the Township Medical Officer so they will be prioritized for further trainings. Translations of knowledge tests for training skills were improved and were more understandable to participants. Project staff increased their support to local NMCP staff during supportive supervision visits to improve their coaching and mentoring skills, which are new skills for most.

Next Steps include Further assessments of knowledge and skills retention will be done for MM and GT 6 – 9 months post training. The project will continue support of NMCP staff as they support GT in subsequent trainings and supportive supervision for ICMV. Translation revisions of the training manuals, particularly knowledge assessments, will continue to ensure that language barriers are addressed.

*Affiliation: Jhpiego/Myanmar, PMI Defeat Malaria Project; University Research Co., Myanmar, PMI Defeat Malaria Project; Myanmar National Malaria Control Program

This poster is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of its Cooperative Agreement No. AID-482-A-16-00003 and the USAID Defeat Malaria Project. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, PMI or the United States Government.

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