Platforms of Exchange in Action
In April 2012 ICM initiated a Platform of Exchange for English speaking West Africa involving Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and the Gambia Midwives Associations. The twinning project is serving as a launch pad for the platform and providing a means of sustaining the Sierra Leone Midwives Association after the twinning project has ended. Sierra Leone Midwives Association is the focal point. The Gambia, Liberia and Nigeria were excited to be involved.
High ranking officers from the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health, Nursing and Midwifery Directorate, Reproductive Health department and Nurses and Midwives Board attended the meeting. The Dean of the faculty of Nursing in the University of Sierra Leone, The Deans of Nursing and Nursing and Midwifery in the West Africa College of Nursing, Marie Stopes and UNFPA were present. The Gambia, Liberia and Nigeria had representatives from their Ministries of Health, Midwives Associations, Midwifery Education Institutions, Regulatory bodies and UN agencies – specifically UNFPA country representative.
At the end of the meeting the ministry representatives of the Gambia, Liberia and Nigeria expressed that their understanding of the value of midwives and having a midwifery association in their countries had increased.
All four countries requested support for:
- Implementing the standards, competencies and tools.
- Reviewing the curricula
- Establishing midwifery regulations in their countries. All the countries present have regulatory bodies but there is no midwifery specific regulation. Midwifery is subsumed in nursing.
All the countries were excited to be in the first platform exchange and organised themselves in how to develop terms of reference for the exchange of information, expertise and best practices in the region
ICM made an end of project visit in December 2012 and then created a virtual platform and launched it in Agust 2013.