Skills Gap among Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Professionals in Cameroon
AbstractOver the last 10 years, the state of sexual and reproductive health in Cameroon has been challenging with rising levels of sexually transmitted diseases, the high fertility rate, and high infant and maternal mortality rates. Some researchers attributed these challenges to the limited number and quality of sexual and reproductive health personnel working in health facilities across the country. The North West Region of Cameroon was taken as a unit of study to probe into the skills gap among sexual and reproductive health practitioners. A total of n = 302 participants at a confidence interval of 95 per cent were selected using a stratified random sampling technique to take part in the study. The results indicated that a good number of them have no prior experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health. On the other hand, most of the practitioners’ skills level is situated between intermediate and competent with very few of them being at the expert skills level. It was therefore recommended that most of the participants needs improvement in (i) computer or information technology skills; (ii) research skills; and (iii) leadership development of the specialty. These areas need to be dealt with, as a matter of priority, through training and professional development to enable these professionals to deliver better service in the sexual and reproductive healthcare sector. It was also recommended that, in line with the critical role that sexual and reproductive health practitioners play in Cameroon’s health system, the Ministry of Public Health and other role players in the health sector make sufficient investments in the improvement of the health workforce’s accessibility to information and communication technology.
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