Strengthening midwifery in Sub-Saharan Africa through continuing education

Cordaid: Strengthening the Midwifery Workforce through Continuing Education – Uganda

Despite progress being made by governments in increasing the production of health workers, the most recent MDGs Report (2011) on progress shows that there are still critical shortages of health care workers. According to the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (2011) the world is still experiencing critical shortages of qualified health care providers especially in the high burden countries. Sub Saharan Africa carries the highest burden of the global maternal, neonatal and child deaths. In many African countries midwives form the back bone of the health care system. In this region (Africa), there is a shortage, not only in numbers (quantity) but also in quality of midwives. This is because midwives are obliged to meet the demands of their ever-expanding roles without a voice to contribute to the decision making process and with minimal quality pre-service and in-service education.

The goal of this project is to improve the quality of midwives and midwifery in the identified countries through strengthening midwifery education, regulation and association development.

Through funding from Cordaid, a meeting of 10 African countries, 5 francophone and 5 Anglophone took place in Uganda in May 2012 for the dissemination of global standards, competencies and tools. Identified needs and recommendations from the workshop will inform work on review of curriculum as well as implementation of regulation standards. Further work involves support in creation of regulatory bodies for midwives and midwifery services in some francophone countries. Cordaid has an interest in strengthening the education, regulation and association development in the focus countries and has agreed to work with ICM to contribute to this process.

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