Back 6 March 2017

Introducing Midwifery Services Framework (MSF) in India

Introducing Midwifery Services Framework (MSF) in India

MSF India image

Early February the ICM President Frances Day-Stirk accompanied by the ICM Midwifery Services Framework (MSF) Project Officer, Shantanu Garg and the Society  of Midwives Associaiton of India (SoMI) held a series of meetings with several stakeholders in India to introduce MSF and explore its potential.

The team met with National Institute of Family Welfare (NIHFW), representative from Maulana Azad Medical College, UNFPA, Global Health Strategies, Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The Director of NIHFW Dr. J.K Das informed the team that there is no midwife cadre in India, only Nurses, general nurse midwives and auxiliary nurse midwives. Mr. Das further said that his organisation regularly trains the existing cadre and provides training of trainers on antenatal care, postnatal care, infection control measures and other needed  requirements.

In another occasion the team met with the officials from the department of Maternal Health, Nursing, and National Health Mission. The ICM President – Frances Day-Stirk had an opportunity of presenting the MSF tool and shared its benefits and possibilities of its implementation in the country. Among other things discussed during the meeting were lack of international standards of midwives, the existing cadre of auxiliary nurse midwives, the career progression of the health workers and their salary scales.

“It is important to have a dedicated midwifery  system , proper education and training of midwives to international standards.” Emphasized ICM President.

To seek more support and buy in for MSF in India the team also met with the Secretary Ministry of Health and mission director and National Health Mission,  together with development partners have expressed their willingness to jointly collaborate for MSF implementation possibilities. The team concluded that the Government of India is committed to increase the status of quality SRMNH services in the country and have already made guidelines for the centre and state. The institutes and many officials want to be on safe side, so clearly stated that creation of new cadre or provision of improvement in education or skill set are policy level decisions. Central government also shared their limited command over State’s decision as eventually any change involves financial decisions. There is enthusiasm and common grounds on understanding to have international standards for health workers, nurses, ANM and GNM’s, but a clear hesitation in advocating for the of creation of new cadre – Midwives.


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