Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most common causes of birth defects in the UK, yet most people have never heard of it.

Get up to speed by watching Sharon Wood, Project Manager at CMV Action give a presentation on “CMV – A bigger threat much closer to home” at Maternity, Midwifery & Baby London 2017.

The risks of childbearing women contracting CMV raises significant responsibilities for health professionals in terms of prevention and management, yet many have received minimal education on the topic since their initial training. This finding sharply contrasts with education in relation to other teratogenic infections in pregnancy, e.g. listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, both of which represent far less danger to the infant.

Discussing CMV with childbearing women may make some feel anxious. Nevertheless, it is imperative that both healthcare professionals and women receive carefully measured educational messages about its prevention with advice to reduce risk of contamination and the simple and cost-effective education that they can offer involving just four very simple hygiene precautions.

In response to approaches from health professional trainers, CMV Action have developed a CMV board game to give midwives and frontline healthcare staff the knowledge and confidence to deliver this advice. The game works best with between 4-12 players, divided into two equal teams. Teams take turns to ask and answer questions on a series of cards, with the correct answers earning a throw of the dice, allowing teams to move their counters. The first team to reach the finish wins the game.

The game is very easy to set up and manage. Games usually last for between 45 and 60 minutes but facilitators can make it shorter or longer depending upon individual circumstances. The facilitator does not need to be an expert on CMV and their role can be very “hands off” as the game can be managed by the players themselves without any facilitation if necessary.

The game is intended to be a fun, interactive way to learn, prompting discussion, sharing of knowledge and experience. It can be run as a standalone activity or as part of more structured learning or a workshop.

Games can be borrowed for a period of time, or purchased from CMV Action. Please contact Sharon Wood at CMV Action – sharonwood@cmvaction.org.uk for further details.

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