Back 19 October 2015

ICM at Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference

                           MNH conference

ICM's Frances Day-Stirk and Nester T. Moyo will be presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Mexico today and tomorrow. Frances Day-Stirk will focus her presentation on some key aspects of the Lancet Commission on Women and Health report, namely the role of midwives as critical players in the health workforce, women and health research, and the special challenges and opportunities that urban centers offer to women.

Nester T. Moyo will be presenting on the ICM Contributing to Workforce Development for Universal Health Coverage:

Background: The central role of midwives in ensuring good MNH is now recognised, e.g. the Lancet Series on Midwifery identified midwifery as pivotal, if the profession is strong. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) exists to strengthen midwifery globally, and states that there are three pillars for a strong profession: Education (to produce a competent workforce); Regulation (to support professionals and protect the public); and professional Association (to work with policy-makers to improve the quality of services and provide leadership).  Collectively, these pillars are known as ‘ERA’.  Many countries experience challenges with these pillars, which, if not addressed, will affect MNH outcomes post-2015. This presentation explores the nature of these challenges and ways to address them.

Methodology: ICM developed a Gap Analysis tool, and in 2008-2015 assisted 41 middle- and low-income countries to administer it, to: (1) systematically assess the ERA of midwifery, by identifying strengths and gaps, (2) identify strategies for filling the gaps, and (3) engage policy-makers and other stakeholders in strengthening midwifery services. The process consists of three self-administered questionnaires, then the development of a strategic plan. The Ministry of Health, UN Agencies and other partners participate.

Results:  Of the ERA pillars, gaps in education (including poorly-designed curricula, insufficient schools and/or faculty, poorly-resourced skills laboratories) are relatively easy to fill. Regulation tends to be the weakest pillar and the most difficult to strengthen; few countries had a midwifery-specific system.  Associations need the most support in low-income countries.  We will share results from individual countries, to highlight both widespread and context-specific gaps.

Conclusion: Gap analysis helps to strengthen the midwifery profession by highlighting problems or bottlenecks that prevent midwives from operating to the full scope of their practice, and identifying strategies to address these.  Examples of these strategies and what happened after they were implemented will be shared.

Download the Gap Analysis Poster by clicking the image below:


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