Training Community Midwives in Pakistan

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Context

Every year, thousands of women and infants in Pakistan die from preventable medical conditions. In the southwest province of Balochistan, the situation is even more dire, as it has some of the worst health statistics in the world.

In addition to severe poverty and a lack of prenatal care facilities in the sparsely populated region, Balochistan suffers from an acute lack of trained health personnel, including midwives, as well as access to properly equipped hospitals. To address this painful situation, USAID funded the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns program (PAIMAN). The program, implemented by the Government of Balochistan in early 1990s trained some 1,738 young women from rural communities as Community Midwives (CMWs).

The Institute for Development Studies and Practice (IDSP) has identified two major gaps in this training:

  • The CMWs do not receive hands-on clinical training in delivering safe babies independently, as required by the Pakistan Nursing Counsil (PNC) for a licensed CMW. The majority of CMWs do not have the confidence to safely deliver babies in their communities.
  • The CMWs have no formal practice in professionally and effectively engaging with the communities to ensure safe maternal and child health care.

While the Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) has certified the course, the Community Midwives (CMWs) do not receive their accreditation (‘registration’) without a supervised, clinical practicum (in a hospital setting) of a minimum of 25 deliveries.  With over 90% of deliveries taking place at home and a lack of training facilities, the  trained CMWs lack the experience and confidence, resulting in serious limitations in the practice of Community Midwifery. As a result, the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns program has had almost no impact on Balochistan’s already alarming rate of maternal and infant care at provincial level.

This project will develop and implement a course to ensure the effective functioning of CMWs in Balochistan, giving the much needed additional training to two cohorts of 25 CMWs.

Goals & Activities

Provide existing CMWs with the tools they need to provide adequate pre- and post-natal care and supervise safe deliveries in remote villages.

Clinical Practices

  • The CMWs will spend three months in the Karachi’s Qattar Hospital Gyne/Obst wards and labour room. During this time, each CMW will undertake a minimum of 25 independent deliveries, fulfilling the PNC’s requirement for a licensed CMW.
  • The CMWs will also practice infant care, post-natal care, and observe and practice outpatient procedures.

Professional ServiceFollowing completion of the 3-month clinical practice, each CMW will have a 9-month placement in her own community to gain hands-on experience in service delivery. 

  • This practicum will include community mapping of physical social infrastructure; creating a socio-economic maternal and child care plan; family health; and gathering baseline data.
  • The CMW will practice home based services according to her community map. 

KBF CANADA is working with the Institute for Development Studies and Practice (IDSP) Pakistan on this project, a nonprofit that empowers Community Midwives in their professional and leadership skills in community healthcare so that communities in rural and remote areas can access not only maternal and infant healthcare services, but also general health.

How to support this project?

By credit card: At the top right of this page, indicate the amount you wish to donate, and make the donation online by credit card. You will receive a receipt for tax purposes by e-mail just a few minutes after making the donation. Simple and fast!

By cheque: Mail the cheque to the KBF Foundation CANADA, mention ‘Project D508 – Community Midwives in Pakistan’ in the ‘For’ section and send it to: KBF Foundation CANADA, 1 Place Ville Marie, Suite 1670, MONTREAL, QC, H3B 2B6 – CANADA.

By Direct Deposit: Send an email to the KBF Foundation CANADA [email protected] or call +1 514.481.2000.

All donations are eligible for a tax receipt in Canada.

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