More twinning programmes
In 2011, four pairs of Twins were established between eight countries; funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These are:
- Umoja (Unity) Tanzania Midwifery Association (TAMA) and Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM)
- Tupela Midwives (Two) - Papua New Guinea Midwifery Society (PNGMS) and The Australian College of Midwives (ACM).
- Chosen (Challenge) - Vietnam Association of Midwives (VAM) and Japanese Midwives Association (JMA)
- Suima (Suisse Mali) - Switzerland and Mali Midwives’ Associations.
Twinning representatives first met in The Hague, Netherlands in September 2011. Each country used the ICM Member Association Capacity Assessment Tool (MACAT) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their Midwifery Associations and from this baseline developed a strategic and action plans to inform their work.
Some of the Twins met again during the ICM Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam in July 2012 to share progress, challenges, and to look forward. Sadly Suima was not able to attend. The value and power of twinning is reflected in the achievements of the Twins to date. Activities have been implemented both as individual associations and collaboratively. Here are updates on collaboration:
CAM became a member of CANADIAN-PMNCH, a national Canadian partnership of NGOs government and health professionals working for global Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). It achieved its first grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
It engaged the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and other government agencies in ongoing discussions regarding involvement in global
TAMA has developed the “Scope of Midwifery Practice” document and adopted the ICM essential competencies for basic midwifery practice (2011).
TAMA in collaboration with key stakeholders, has begun the process of separating midwifery regulation from nursing regulation, in order to
promote the autonomy of midwifery practice. Furthermore, TAMA is developing a website.
Individual Twinning of 25 midwife and 14 student midwife twins from the two associations starts in spring 2013. Joint benefits include improved communication and sharing of information. Read an update here.
Year one initiatives focused on increasing membership and participation in professional activities in order to improve the quality of midwifery
care; improving the visibility and viability of the Midwifery Associations; creating a partnership between ACM and PNGMS and the exchange of
cultural and professional knowledge, skills, information and experiences to promote shared understanding.
The PNGMS has quadrupled its membership from 50 to 200 members. PNGMS does not have a dedicated office but is now looking for a space. Tupela successfully secured a sponsorship grant enabling PNGMS to begin purchasing office equipment. Two new regional sub-branches have been established for wider country inclusiveness.
PNGMS celebrated The International Day of the Midwife for the first time in Port Moresby and is planning its first Annual General Meeting.
ACM reported increased awareness of the needs of women and midwives in PNG, improved communication and linkages between the two associations.
A recently secured donation of a free international teleconference service will enhance future communication between the two associations, where physical communications have proven difficult especially with poor access to internet in Papua New Guinea.
KNOV and SLMA share lessons from their twinning experiences
KNOV is committed to reducing mother and newborn deaths through cooperation with sister organisations in countries where the childbirth-related death rate remains high. For three years, from 2008 to 2012, 25 Dutch midwives and as many colleagues from Sierra Leone, shared knowledge and experience in the twinning project.
Now KNOV will apply the same methodology to its next twinning project with colleagues in Morocco where maternal mortality during pregnancy and childbirth exceeds the Dutch percentage tenfold. Dutch parliamentarian Khadija Adib, and Ambassador for the twin2twin-project with Morocco marked the start of the new cooperation between the midwife organisations in December 2012. KNOV and Moroccan sister organisation AMSF will exchange knowledge and support each other in the project which aims to improve care for pregnant mothers in Morocco and for pregnant Dutch-Moroccan mothers in the Netherlands.
Other Twinning projects
UK Royal College of Midwives with Cambodia, Nepal & Uganda
American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) & Zambia