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A Policy Dialogue on Midwifery Education and Practice

    20th February 2015

The Midwifery Association of Pakistan (MAP) along with Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKUSONAM) organized a workshop on ‘’Future of Midwife and Midwifery: A Policy Dialogue on Midwifery Education and Practice’’, on February 20, 2015. The participants included representatives from different organizations, and NGO’s such as, MNCH, MCHIP, and AKHSP. Principals, teachers and students from various midwifery schools were also present. Dr. Rafat Jan presented a report on the current state of midwifery education and practice in Pakistan stressing on the scenario that many NGO’s are working to upgrade the education and practice of midwifery in Pakistan and finances are also present but still the condition remains the same. Hence today we meet to discuss the challenges and issues that are being faced in midwifery education and practice and also to point out solutions and future pathways to be followed which will eradicate these issues and challenges. She also emphasized that; Education, Regulation and Association, are the three pillars, given by ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) and serves as the mandate of MAP, should be the basis of competencies that a midwife should possess.

Further in the meeting, Dr. Mushtaq, Deputy Project Manager MNCH Sindh highlighted the role of MNCH in supporting midwives and explained the achievements of the government in the field of midwifery. He also pointed out some gaps that need to be addressed in near future.

MCHIP representative gave a brief summary on the role of MCHIP and suggested that the quality of care should be enhanced so that Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) could be lowered down.

A graduate of the first batch of Bachelors of Science in Midwifery (BScM) from AKUSONAM shared her experience on how advanced education has benefitted her. She said that she feels very confident now and is able to teach other midwifery students very well.

Afterwards three groups were formed which consisted of students, teachers, and principals and administrators to discuss and extract recommendations for interventions towards the challenges they all face during midwifery education and practice. Every group discussed and put their main points for recommendations and way forward on a chart paper and presented it in front of others in the end.

Student’s group recommended that the midwifery tutors should be at least BScM and there should be a midwifery clinical instructor present in the clinical area to support and guide them in all the shifts. They also said that clinical instructors and teachers should show them the procedures on hand and let them also practice under supervision.

Teacher’s group suggested that there should be continuous education programs for tutors to refresh their knowledge regularly and the hospital staff and doctors should cooperate with them when they take the students on clinical. They also said that government should support the eligible candidates to join BScM program so that the midwifery education can be uplifted more.

The administrators and principals group pointed out that PNC (Pakistan Nursing Council) should fasten the registration and licensing process. They also suggested that proper evaluation of midwife’s competencies should be done on a regular basis before renewal of the license. They said that using media to communicate midwife’s role will also be beneficial.

Post lunch, there was a workshop for midwifery students and tutors organized by the midwifery team of AKUSONAM on the topic of ‘’ Promotion of Normality during Delivery and Intra partum’. The work shop was facilitated by Ms. Sadia Abbas Ali and Ms.Farzana Adnan. It provided the participants an opportunity to reflect on their practices of delivery and intrapartum care and to adopt evidence based practices and strategies to promote normality in the process, which is the hall mark of midwifery led model of care. It was a very informative session and everyone enjoyed taking part in the role play part of the workshop.