Essential Steps in Managing Obstetric Emergencies

ESMOE is a skills-and-drills programme that was developed in 2008 to train all maternity staff in South African conditions to combat the high rate of maternal deaths. ESMOE aims to improve the availability and quality of care for women suffering from obstetric emergencies by building the capacity and confidence of healthcare professionals to enable them to work effectively and efficiently. 

In 2012, funding became available to take the training programme to scale. The programme has been introduced throughout all districts in South Africa by the National Department of Health and forms an important part of the training of health care providers.

The programme is taught to:

  • Undergraduate students, both medical and nursing,
  • All interns
    • Signed off before registration as a doctor,
    • Training by an accredited trainer
    • Registered and certified
  • All trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics
  • All doctors involved in maternal and neonatal care



  • UKAID - Department of International Development
  • USAID - Agency for International Development
  • LSTM - Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

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