Strengthening Midwifery Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa
Thirty participants attended the ICM workshop in Kampala, Uganda titled “Strengthening Midwifery Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa”. The participants haul from eight countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.
The workshop was opened by Enid Mwebaza, Commissioner of Nursing in the Ministry of Health, Uganda. Her remarks focused on the important role that midwives play in promoting the health of mothers and their babies.
The workshop participants from all countries made presentations highlighting major progress made since the last workshop in May 2012. Key issues from the presentations included:
•Progress made in most countries with introduction of higher level courses in midwifery education (BSc, Master and PhD)
•Status of midwives including remuneration and recognition as a unique profession remains a challenge with the need to review midwifery education pathways for midwives
•Inadequate resources, shortage of midwifery tutors and poor infrastructure affecting quality of education
Although some countries have made much progress in regulation many countries still need to do more work. Progress has been hampered by political instability in some countries however with the return of peace, member associations with other partners are mapping out on how to move ahead.
Countries like South Sudan have now established a midwives association and are in the process of registration within their country. Other challenges faced by associations include:
•Inadequate funding for activity implementation, require orientation on how to write funding proposals.
•How to increase their influence (advocacy)
The workshop continued over two days with topics such as the Global Standards for Education and Regulation as well as the Model Curriculum. In an interactive approach participants were guided to assess their own association's capacity using the Member Association Capacity Assessment Tool (MACAT). On the last day, participants were trained on the innovative simulator developed by Laerdal to train on HMS BAB.
Report by ICM Project Coordinator Martha Bokosi