Strengthening Midwifery in South-East Asia
From the 30. July to 1st August ICM President Frances Day-Stirk travelled to Bangkok to attend the WHO South East Asia Regional meeting on the Quality of Midwifery Education and Services. The objectives of the meeting were:
- To review the situation of midwifery workforce, education and services globally and in WHO SEA countries
- To identify effective and efficient midwifery services
- To dicuss various models of midwifery education programme and management in low resource countries
- To develop a road map for strenghtening the quality of midwifery education and services
A range of stakeholders participated from the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste. Five of these countries are part of the 75 count-down countries and account for 90% of maternal mortality. In addition, midwifery education varies in length and quality, there is often insufficient or inadequate regulation and few competent midwife teachers. Only in five of the ten participating countries there are midwifery associations as in all of them the number of midwives is small and few are actively advocating for professional development. Dr. Prakin Suchaxaya emphasised the need for competent midwives and the importance of national policy commitment and investment in health systems along with education, regulation and association. The ICM President presented the Global Standards for Midwifery Education, Regulation and the Framework for Association Development. Pashtoon Asfar ICM/UNFPA Regional Midwife Advisor Asia also had a ppresentation.