From 6 to 11 August, the key part of MSM’s project on Training of Trainers in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Syrian Refugees was completed. During those days, 3 staff members from the American University of Beirut (AUB) together with MSM experts facilitated a training for 10 peer-trainers, followed by a training of 21 health-care professionals.
The project, part of Nuffic, through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in Lebanon where MSM was the lead implementer, ran the first half of 2018. During those months, MSM helped AUB to design a curriculum and develop a manual entitled ‘Training of Trainers – Person Centered Sexual Reproductive Health Care’.
Several studies amongst Syrian refugee women in Lebanon show some important obstacles for them to get access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care services. An assessment carried out by AUB and MSM with the help of various stakeholders (Syrian refugee women, health care providers, NGO’s, and the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon) suggested that knowledge and expertise of SRH among health care providers is high, and that services are available but that Syrian refugee women do not make sufficient use of the services. The focus of the training model for health care professionals is on person-centred sexual reproductive health care, an approach aimed at reducing the obstacles that are a result from cultural and personal experiences. Through training of trainers of local health care providers directly followed by them training their peers, appropriate personal and professional skills, attitudes and behaviours of SRH care providers were explored that will increase the well-being of SRH care seekers.
AUB did not have the means (i.e. the curriculum and manual) to offer such trainings even though these are highly needed. Through this project AUB is now well equipped to keep offering these trainings and to improve the delivery of sexual and reproductive health care to Syrian refugee women in Lebanese health care centres.
The two-step training (training of trainers followed by peer-training) received very positive evaluations. For MSM, Ms. Astrid ter Wiel (Associate Consultant, responsible for project management) and Ms. Henny Slegh (consultant, responsible for manual development) were involved in the project. AUB will continue offering the training of trainers to make a difference in the lives of the Syrian refugee women that struggle to find appropriate access to sexual and reproductive health care in Lebanon.