Seeking to Address High Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity Rates
The Government of Nepal (GoN) is committed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity by ensuring the availability, access to and utilization of skilled care at every birth. The National Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) policy (2006) specifically identifies the importance of skilled birth attendance at every birth and embodies the government’s commitment for development of a new cadres of professional Midwives as a crucial human resource for safe motherhood, providing service and leadership in midwifery as a long term measure to be reached before 2017. Since 2010 MoHP is working with UNFPA and other partner agencies for the initiation of midwifery education and for the development of this professional cadre. However the progress has been slow and as of now Midwifery education as per ICM standard is yet to start in Nepal. However development of reference curriculum and the teaching /learning tools for the three years Bachelor in Midwifery and draft faculty development frame work for Midwifery Education for Nepal has been completed. A task force committee to advance Midwife cadre and Education’ has also been set up under the leadership of MoHP and the Midwifery association of Nepal (MIDSON) continues to advocate for midwifery education and cadre in the country. Apart from this, since early 2014, work on regulation is also being carried out through Nepal Nursing council (NNC) by developing Education standards and revision of current Nursing Act to include Midwives as a separate cadre of health professional.
The feasibility study on professional midwives in Nepal conducted in collaboration with Family Health Division in early 2012 has recommended five potential universities, namely TUIOM; NAMS, Bir hospital; PAHS, BPKIHS, Nepalgunj Medical College affiliated to Kathmandu University that could initiate midwifery education.
Hence in line with the above commitment of the Government of Nepal, to initiate midwifery education in the country this workshop was organized by MoHP with support from UNFPA in order to bring 6 universities_ one who have explicitly expressed its interest to start midwifery education (KU) and other five recommended by feasibility study, along with other relevant skate holders together to prepare a comprehensive action plan to initiate professional midwifery education in Nepal by identifying and analyzing the strength and gaps/needs of each of these universities to. (Annex I- program agenda).
Objectives of the workshop
- To prepare a comprehensive action plan for initiating professional midwifery education in Nepal.
- To draft a plan for deployment of professional midwives.
Please see the attached PDF for a complete report.
In 2006, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) introduced the National Policy of Skilled Birth Attendants with an aim to bring about sustainable development and reduce the mother and child mortality rates. In 2009, MOHP finalized its selection of 4 universities to pioneer midwifery education as a professionally accredited degree in Nepal. These universities are:
- B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS),
- Kathmandu University (KU),
- National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), and
- Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS).
It was agreed that the universities would establish professional midwifery education as a separate faculty within the university and offer a bachelor’s degree in midwifery as a professionally accredited course. The curriculum would be proposed by each university to the Nepal Nursing Council (NNC) for review and finalization. The NNC would offer accreditation to the proposed curriculum only if it was confirmed to be consistent with ICM/WHO international standards.
1. Address gaps in human resources, including faculty development
2. Provide scholarships for students from underserved communities
3. Support infrastructure development: i.e. classrooms, hostel facility
4. Acquire Skills Lab/Equipment (dummy/ anatomical models)