Nepal: Partnership with MOHP, UNFPA, WHO and GIZ to foster Midwifery Education
Providing Needed Equipment and Materials to Support Midwifery Education: Q1 2017
June 14, 2017
Ganesh Shrestha, Program Manager and Pragya Gautam, Program and M&E Coordinator
Summary of Activities
The April 2015 earthquake damaged or destroyed up to 90% of health facilities in many rural areas, affecting 2 million women of reproductive age and over 126,000 pregnant women. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 85% of urban pregnancies are over medicalized in Nepal. However, only 16% to 18.6% of Nepal’s population lives in its cities, and many rural areas are deprived of professional midwifery services, modern medicines, and access to surgery. When pregnancy complications arise, this lack of proper care leads to the death of the mother and child in most cases. Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are working in partnership with several universities and organizations, including RMF, to build midwifery education programs. The goal is to create strong cadres of qualified midwives to reduce mortality and morbidity rates among mothers and newborns.
During this reporting period RMF:
- Continued supporting the Midwifery Education Program at the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), Bir Hospital Nursing Campus
- Worked to provide the college’s requested equipment and materials
- Provided a 12-door locker, which has been installed at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Thapathali, Kathmandu for the midwifery students’ use
- Attended External Development Partner (EDP) Meeting on February 13, 2017
- Attended MOHP and EDP Meeting on March 2, 2017
Midwifery Education Program
Within this program, RMF Nepal’s current priority is to support the Midwifery Education Program at the NAMS, Bir Hospital Nursing Campus. We have been continually supporting the NAMS midwifery program from its inception, and our support is in consortium with other external development partners and Nepal’s MOHP, UNFPA, WHO, and GIZ to ensure that the program runs smoothly, with no duplication of efforts.
NAMS Request for Support
Equipment and Materials
On April 6, 2017, NAMS sent a written request to RMF for various equipment and materials. These are in the process of procurement.
Support requested by NAMS:
- Showcase cupboards
- Steel cupboard
Providing for Students
RMF has provided the institution with a 12-door locker, which has been installed at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Thapathali, Kathmandu for the midwifery students’ use. Each student has a separate lock and key, and will be able to store his or her uniforms, books, and other personal belongings in the locker. This offers students added peace of mind, as they feel that their belongings are secure during their hospital duty.
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)