Nepal: Partnership with MOHP, UNFPA, WHO and GIZ to foster Midwifery Education

Starting a Milestone Midwifery Bachelor Program

January 11, 2017

Midwifery Education

Providing a well-rounded program

Since early 2016, RMF has joined with Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP), UNFPA, WHO, and GIZ to support urgently needed midwifery education in Nepal. As one of the external development partners for the project, RMF’s specific contributions will include creating a database for the Nepal Nursing Council, providing a full-time international mentor to the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), providing scholarships, and supplying learning materials, equipment, and a skills lab to NAMS. RMF also brings unique expertise to the project, having initiated, co-founded, and continuously supported South Sudan’s first accredited college of nursing and midwifery: Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM).

Midwives Key to Reducting Maternal Mortality

Critical to Acheiving Universal Health Care

According to a statement from the UNFPA, Well-trained midwives together with a recruitment, deployment and retention plan could help avert roughly two thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths. They could also deliver up to 87 percent of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services. Midwives are one of the most cost-effective and c*ulturally sensitive* path to achieving universal health care, if practicing in an enabling environment and
supported by regulations.

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)

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.