Advocacy, Leadership, Model of Practice, Africa

Marching Towards Improved Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes in Africa Though ICM’s Regional Professional Committee  

4 June 2024

The uniqueness of midwifery care provision in Africa is worth recognizing, as each positive intervention brings maternal and neonatal health closer to actualization, as referenced in Vision 2030. The newly formed Regional Professional Committees (RPCs) are the functional arm of the ICM. The Africa RPC is determined to ensure that midwifery education, regulation, practice, leadership, and research are harmoniously working to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in the region. 

The Africa RPC’s nine-member team comprises two midwife educators, two midwife researchers, two midwife practitioners, two midwife regulators, and an emerging leader. The team hails from primarily Francophone and Anglophone backgrounds. 

What sets us apart is our ability to connect ideas and expertise across countries, harnessing the skills and knowledge of midwives throughout the African region. To this end, the Africa RPC has formed an ‘Africa Region Midwives Hub’ with over 2,000 midwives from more than 20 countries. The benefits of this hub include interaction, collaboration, sharing of evidence-based practices, and access to online continuing education opportunities among midwives from different countries. The International Day of the Midwife (IDM) celebrations were conducted in color and splendor across various countries and were posted in this forum. The group has brought midwives closer than ever, with the remaining countries expected to join soon, judging by the excitement witnessed whenever relevant posts and activities are highlighted. 

Additionally, the Africa RPC has developed a collaborative survey tool to understand the midwives’ profiles and the region’s research capacity. This will help optimize collective strengths and skills. The survey will be distributed to member associations and individual midwives to establish the existing capacity and expertise on the continent and identify where capacity development needs lie, both individually and nationally. The survey will explore respondents’ expertise to establish a panel of experts for capacity development and determine the midwives’ desire to join a research interest group/network. The survey will be conducted online, and the findings will be disseminated at the regional conference for Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean in Kigali, Rwanda, in September 2024. Similar surveys will target midwifery education, regulation, and practice. Join us at the ICM regional conference!