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SPOUS Training

The lack of accessible healthcare services in Ethiopia poses a significant challenge, particularly in the field of obstetric care. The World Health Organization recommends regular antenatal visits, including ultrasound examinations, to ensure a positive experience for pregnant women. However, the need to travel long distances to urban centers for ultrasound scans hinders the achievement of this goal. Additionally, pregnant and non-pregnant women with abdominal and pelvic symptoms are also often referred to urban hospitals and private practices for ultrasound evaluations, resulting in wasted time and money. To address these issues, the Contain Patients, Move Doctors (COPMOD) project was initiated by ACSIS, with a specific focus on sexual and reproductive health (SRH). COPMOD-SRH aims to enhance the quality of care at the primary level by mobilizing well-trained professionals from urban hospitals to transfer their management and clinical skills to mid and lower-level professionals, thus ensuring accessible and high-quality healthcare services aligned with national SRH strategies.

The COPMOD SRH package is built on three pillars: timeliness of obstetric care, person-centered SRH services, and women's ownership of their care. One of the interventions included in this package is Structured Point of Care Obstetric Ultrasound (SPOUS). SPOUS is a novel point of care ultrasound training program designed for mid-level healthcare workers, such as midwives, health officers and general practitioners, in Ethiopia.

Traditionally, obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound examinations require the expertise of highly trained radiologists and obstetric-gynecologists. However, in low-resource settings, such specialists are scarce. This raises the question of whether midwives, health officers, and general practitioners, who provide the majority of antenatal care and other sexual and reproductive health services, can be entrusted with ultrasound skills. If so, what is the appropriate training structure to enable them to acquire and maintain these skills?

SPOUS, as its name suggests, is a structured point of care ultrasound simplified protocol curriculum designed specifically for mid-level healthcare workers. The training aligns with the practice essentials and requirements set by various organizations and professional societies for mid-level professionals performing obstetric point-of-care ultrasound. SPOUS is designed to be a structured and limited-scope point-of-care ultrasound training, tailored to the needs of general practitioners, health officers, and midwives. Its primary objective is to ensure that ultrasound services are available within the community by equipping mid-level professionals with the necessary skills.

In conclusion, the introduction of Structured Point of Care Obstetric Ultrasound (SPOUS) within the COPMOD-SRH program represents a significant step toward addressing the lack of accessible healthcare services in Ethiopia. By providing this training to mid-level healthcare workers, SPOUS aims to ensure the availability of ultrasound services within the community, enhancing the quality of maternal and fetal healthcare. With its structured curriculum and focus on relevant skills, SPOUS empowers midwives, health officers, and general practitioners to provide effective ultrasound assessments, thus improving the overall health outcomes of women in Ethiopia.

Image One                SPOUS Andragogy Training of Trainers

Following manual preparation, on June 6 and 7, 2023, Andragogy Training of Trainers (ToT) orientation was conducted for selected obstetrics and gynecology specialists from renowned coach hospitals at Abebech Gobena MCH Center. Participants also inclu

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Image One                SPOUS Intensive Training

The SPOUS intensive phase training, conducted in two phases each spanning five days at the Abebech Gobena MCH Training Center from June 19 to July 2, aimed to introduce midlevel healthcare professionals with crucial skills for SPOUS examination. The

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