International Day of the Midwife

Community Midwifery Education Program

Community Midwifery Education Program (Photo credit: Canada in Afghanistan / Canada en Afghanistan)

I couldn’t let today pass without posting to mark it. I spent some time today logged into the Virtual International Day of the Midwife Conference, it has been amazing, with an incredible variety of presenters, and subjects from all over the world.

The midwife who left me lost for words was Leah Kavere Amadi, who works for UNFPA in South Sudan, on working in war-torn post-conflict societies. Her discussion of the difficulties faced when trying to look after birthing women in these environments was very moving. Imagine training a healthcare assistant for months, so she  can help you in dealing with an emergency, or assist labouring women while you are delivering, only to have her disappear one day, because of the continuing conflict. Her presentation was calm and focused on helping people to understand the role of the midwife in countries where there is not only unimaginable poverty, but also the destruction of much of the existing healthcare infrastructure, and ongoing conflict that moves from place to place.

Her priority in the middle of this was to transfer her skills to the local nurse/midwives who are still delivering the majority of women, with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality.

Her total commitment to her cause was striking, and made me reflect on my own commitment to midwifery. I would love to follow in Leah’s footsteps one day, and work in Africa, providing mentorship and training to local midwives, in some ways it seems like the most important work any of us can do, ensuring that our midwifery skills survive, and that the women we are caring for now and in the future do too.

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