A curriculum model for multidisciplinary training of midwife sonographers in a low resource setting

Sudhir Vinayak, Marleen Temmerman, Geert Villeirs, Sharon M. Brownie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In many low-resource settings, less than 5% of pregnant women can access ultrasound during pregnancy. Thus, gestational age is often difficult to determine, multiple pregnancies are diagnosed late and foetal and pregnancy-related anomalies can go undetected. A pilot solution was designed beyond the traditional approach of increasing numbers of qualified radiologists, gynaecologists and sonographers. An innovative Human Resource for Health (HRH) task sharing, and maternal child health (MCH) workforce training and capacity building initiative was designed, involving development and testing of a curriculum to train midwife sonographers via a teleradiology innovation platform and a partnership between specialist radiologists, sonographers and midwives. The setting was a tertiary-level private university hospital in Nairobi with implementation in three outreach locations. Direct oversight, support and supervision of specialist radiologists and ultrasonographers effectively addressed issues of quality and safety across the 3-week training period and project implementation. Concepts from sociocultural learning theory informed an initial interactive e-learning module for each midwife at their respective site. Midwives were introduced to ultrasound equipment with a series of didactic and interactive lectures delivered by an expert sonographer at the tertiary hospital teaching site. Lectures were supported by hands-on practical experience, role modelling and mentoring over a four-week period. Assessments included both written examination and practical assessment with an exit examination requiring demonstration of competency in both written and practical format. Final confirmation of scanning accuracy was confirmed with post-delivery verification of results. The pilot was highly successful with an image interpretation accuracy of 99.63% for the midwives. Lessons from this initiative provides guidance in the curriculum development process along with a curriculum outline; pedagogical framework; teaching methods; assessment processes; credentialing; resourcing; and other considerations in scaling up the program. Importantly, the paper details processes for maintaining a high level of quality control and patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2833-2844
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Kenya
  • Maternal health services
  • Midwifery
  • Rural health
  • Ultrasonography


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