Nepal: Partnership with MOHP, UNFPA, WHO and GIZ to foster Midwifery Education
Rally Raises Awareness of Importance of Midwives: Q2 2018
July 01, 2018
Summary of Activities
It has been more than a year since the Bachelor of Midwifery Sciences (BMS) program was introduced in Nepal. The program is slowly gaining recognition, but there is still much work to be done to effectively increase the number of skilled, competent midwives who will reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the coming days. The government of Nepal and partners remain invested in the program, with high hopes of effectiveness in the area of maternal and newborn health.
Within this program, RMF Nepal’s current priority is to support the Bachelor of Midwifery Sciences (BMS) program at the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), Bir Hospital Nursing Campus. We have been continually supporting the NAMS midwifery program from its inception, including the provision of 1 student scholarship, as well as learning materials and shelving/storage for the skills lab and library.
A workshop on the curriculum development of the PCL Midwifery Education Program was held from June 7–9, 2018. The workshop was organized by Ministry of Health with the support of GIZ, UNFPA, MIDSON, and CTEVT. Participants included midwifery nursing faculty from nursing colleges, midwifery nurses from various hospitals, midwifery program implementing institutions, subject experts, organizations that have been assisting the Nepal government in SBA programs, external development partners in the Midwifery Education Program including RMF, and many other organizations directly or indirectly associated with midwifery education and practice.
Karnali Academy of Health Sciences (KAHS) in Jumla requested RMF’s support in establishing a midwifery skills lab so that they can introduce the Bachelor of Midwifery Science program at their institution. A well-established midwifery skills lab is a basic prerequisite for an institution to be accredited by the Nepal Nursing Council. Once they receive the consignment, KAHS will immediately set up the skills lab and then receive accreditation from NNC, which will enable them to enroll 10 students in the BMS program. As a result, KAHS will be ready to commence the program and will advertise for program application.
KAHS Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rajendra Raj Wagle, Rector Prof. Dr. Dharma Raj Shrestha, and Dean of KAHS Nursing School Assoc. Prof. Saraswoti Gautam thanked RMF in person for providing such immense help. The skills lab equipment will be handed over to KAHS in the near future.
The program began with a rally led by midwives, stakeholders in the Midwifery Education Program, implementing universities, external development partners, and other organizations that provide services in the field of maternal and child health. The rally started at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital in Thapathali and ended with a warm welcome at Basantapur, the venue for the formal program. Placards with various messages related to midwifery were used during the rally, and pamphlets were distributed to the public to raise awareness about midwifery and its necessity in the modern day. The rally attracted the interest of the public and was secured with the help of Nepal Police.
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)