Reviewed by Josefien van Olmen
The authors describe a 3 months’ training programme in Tanzania for non-physician clinicians in “comprehensive emergency obstetric care” and the (improved) indicators for health service delivery in the subsequent 8 months. Judging from their results (more caesarean sections, increase in institutional deliveries and less fresh stillbirths), their programme seems successful. While the description of their training seems valuable as a handbook for how to set up such courses in other settings with similar needs – especially the attention for the often neglected dimension of anaesthesia -, the analytical part of the paper is – in my opinion – a bit shallow. Not only is an 8 months’ evaluation period extremely short, but the authors’ remark that the training is ‘crucial’ is a bit too easy. It would be valuable if they could elaborate what is the package of measures needed so that the people trained in these programmes arrive in a work environment where they can sustain their promising performance.