Strengthening Midwives Associations in Sierra Leone
Schokland (2008 – 2012): Strengthening the Midwives Association of Sierra Leone
ICM has been working with the Sierra Leone Midwives Association (SLMA) providing support to strengthen the Association, enabling midwives to contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality nationally. Achievements to date include SLMA has been established with a headquarters in Free Town and District branches. Of the 13 Districts, five have District Executive Committees representing midwives and midwifery in those districts and working as advocates for improved health outcomes for women and newborn across the country.
One strategy that ICM used to strengthen SLMA has been through Twinning where a relationship was established with the Dutch Midwives Organisation (KNOV), supporting Sierra Leone to further strengthen its Associations with the establishment of policies and mechanisms for organisational development.
SLMA has been reinforced further by the creation of a Platform of Exchange for English speaking West Africa with SLMA as the focal point. A Platform of Exchange is a regional network for the sharing of knowledge, skills and practices and conducting advocacy to governments, UN agencies, NGOs and Women’s groups either individually or collectively for the improvement of midwives and midwifery services. For the platform to be effective, it is important to have a focal point from which to initiate relationships between the Midwife Associations before they can engage other health care professions, governments and UN agencies.
The dissemination of Global Standards, Competencies and Tools provided an opportunity to begin the development of the Platform which will facilitate the strengthening of midwifery services in the region.