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J Perinatol. 2000 Apr-May;20(3):184-8.

Improved practical skills of midwives practicing in the Eastern Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa through the study of a self-education manual.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Tygerberg, South Africa.



Changes in the ability of midwives to perform practical skills, after completion of the Maternal Care Manual of the Perinatal Education Program, were determined.


A prospective, controlled trial in a study town and two control towns. The practical skills of midwives caring for pregnant women in the towns were determined. Subsequently the Maternal Care Manual was studied by midwives in the study town, and the skills of all midwives were subsequently evaluated.


A total of 34 midwives in the study town and 39 midwives in the two control towns were studied. The marks showed a significant (p < or = 0.000) improvement in the study town when comparing the pre- and postintervention marks. The mean improvement in the study town was 36.6%.


The practical skills of midwives improved significantly. The Perinatal Education Program can be implemented with confidence as a distance learning program that is especially suited to the needs of health workers in remote regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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