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

RMF Awarded Scholarship to One Student: Q4 2017

February 01, 2018

Ganesh Shrestha and Pragya Gautam

RMF Program Manager handing the scholarship amount over to BMS Coordinator Binda Ghimire

RMF Program Manager handing the scholarship amount over to BMS Coordinator Binda Ghimire

Program Update

RMF’s Activities

From October to December of 2017, RMF was involved in the following activities to promote midwifery education and awareness in Nepal:

  • Signed a Programmatic Partnership Agreement with other EDPs
  • Awarded a scholarship to one BMS student at NAMS
  • Attended a program celebrating the 28th anniversary of NAMS Bir Hospital Nursing College
  • Welcomed new International Mentor Ms. Margaret Walsh to NAMS BHNC
  • On behalf of Karnali Academy of Health Sciences (KAHS), Nepal Ministry of Health has requested that RMF support the implementation of a new BMS program by providing equipment for the Midwifery Skills Lab.

Programmatic Partnership Signed

A programmatic partnership in support of midwifery education has been signed by the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNFPA, GIZ, and RMF. Country representatives from each partner organization were present at the signing ceremony. At the program, Ms. Goma Niraula Shrestha, President of Nepal Nursing Council, briefed the attendees about the Nursing and Midwifery Policy as well as Nepal’s journey towards official implementation of midwifery education. She thanked all EDPs for their continuous support in the forms of references, resources, and expertise, and added that this partnership arrangement highlights the role of each EDP in fostering midwifery education, as the partnership’s salient feature is its prevention of duplication and omission of efforts in every aspect. Health Secretary Dr. Kiran Regmi was the signatory from the Ministry, while RMF Program Manager Ganesh Kumar Shrestha signed on behalf of RMF. The country chiefs of other EDPs also signed the agreement.

At the ceremony, Vice Chancellor of Karnali Academy of Health Sciences (KAHS) Prof. Dr. Rajendra Raj Wagle was introduced. The VC announced that KAHS is going to commence a Bachelor in Midwifery Sciences (BMS) program starting in the 2018 academic year and requested that all EDPs as well as the Ministry support them in their work, as the institution lies in the remotest part of Nepal and its necessities might be overlooked.

RMF’s Contribution in the Consortium

  • RMF will develop a database for Nepal Nursing Council that will include data related to the number of nursing professionals registered with the body. The database will allow the council to have accurate data with respect to the number of active and inactive nursing professionals within or outside the country. The database will also allow the NNC to track its students and their development. A web portal will be developed to allow online access to the database for the nursing professionals and their students, which will allow for a better exchange of information between the Council and its nursing professionals, including professional midwives and their students, in the future.
  • RMF will continue providing a scholarship to one student every year for the first three years of the program which will cover all tuition fees. The scholarship will be provided on the basis of merit and need.
  • RMF will support the strengthening of training sites and skills labs of NAMS in coordination with the Ministry of Health, UNFPA, and other partners by providing relevant teaching and training materials. It will also provide selected essential teaching and learning materials to NAMS to ensure that student midwives are provided with an education that is both up-to-date and evidence-based (which is likely to include information technology equipment and electronic library access, as well as simulation equipment for clinical skills development).
NNC President Prof. Goma Devi welcomes Ms. Margaret Walsh to NAMS with a Nepali tradition

NNC President Prof. Goma Devi welcomes Ms. Margaret Walsh to NAMS with a Nepali tradition

NAMS 28th Anniversary Program 

RMF Awards Scholarship

On the occasion of the 28th Anniversary of the establishment of NAMS Bir Hospital Nursing Campus, RMF Program Manager Ganesh Kumar Shrestha provided a check for 100,000 rupees to Pratikshya Gurung, a Bachelor of Midwifery Sciences student at NAMS who was awarded the RMF scholarship based on both need and merit. She is a government employee and will return to her designated service after completing her studies; the scholarship requires that students serve in the midwifery sector after graduation, and her government affiliation will ensure that the Ministry of Health can track her work on an ongoing basis.

The check was received by Ms. Binda Ghimire, Coordinator of Midwifery Program at NAMS, on behalf of Pratiksha Gurung. Though the scholarship was announced a long time ago, NAMS wanted this issue to be presented with pride in front of an audience so that it can intrigue personnel from all sectors to contribute to the field of midwifery education. RMF’s Program Manager also announced a scholarship for the second intake of students. NAMS is finalizing the awardee for the second scholarship.

RMF Appreciated

On the auspicious occasion of the 28th Anniversary of NAMS Bir Hospital Nursing College, RMF Program Manager Ganesh Shrestha was invited and seated amongst the distinguished guests including chief guest Prof. Dr. Ranga Bahadur Basnet, NAMS Dean Prof. Dr. Yan Chandra Shiwakoti, Assistant Dean Goma Devi Niraula Shrestha, and Nursing Director of NAMS Bir Hospital Prof. Roshani Tuitui. The campus chiefs of nursing colleges within the valley and chief nursing administrators of Kanti Children’s Hospital, TU Teaching Hospital, and Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital as well as representatives from Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN) and Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON) were also present at the ceremony.

RMF Program Manager Ganesh Shrestha introduced Real Medicine Foundation as a humanitarian organization that has been working in 24 countries with more than 60 initiatives currently in progress. RMF established Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery in South Sudan, which paved the way for RMF’s participation in the consortium to support midwifery education in Nepal. RMF has supported the NAMS Bachelor of Midwifery Sciences program and is now planning to support Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in implementing the program as well. He also shared, on the behalf of RMF CEO Dr. Martina C. Fuchs, that in that moment RMF was especially proud to be a supporter of Nepal’s midwifery education initiatives, along with other development partners. He added that RMF would be privileged to continue supporting Nepal’s citizens and empowering them to liberate their own potential.

In his remark speech, chief guest Prof. Dr. Ranga Bahadur Basnet expressed his gratitude to RMF for providing a scholarship to the deserving awardee and for providing other necessary support to NAMS in order to facilitate the students and faculties of the midwifery program. He was elated that the program’s initiation was successful, as it has set an example of academic excellence and will inspire other institutions to explore new and innovative ideas in the field of nursing and midwifery education.

In her closing speech, Prof. Pramila Dewan, Campus Chief of Bir Hospital Nursing Campus, appreciated the cooperation of all the Midwifery Development Program’s EDPs and thanked RMF with special emphasis on its support in the skills lab and library as well as the scholarship, as these are the most visible efforts RMF has made for the program. She further expressed that RMF provided support at a time of great need, and therefore the support was highly valued.

NAMS Welcomes New International Mentor

During the 28th Anniversary program, the BHNC family warmly welcomed Ms. Margaret Walsh, the new midwifery mentor, from the United Kingdom. She has been appointed as an International Mentor for NAMS BHNC and will be providing overall academic support for the midwifery program. She has an extensive experience as a midwifery educator in both hospital and community settings.

Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, Jumla

Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, Jumla

Asking for Help

Ministry of Health Requests RMF Support for Skill Lab

Karnali Academy of Health Sciences (KAHS) was established as a government initiative to provide quality health services in rural areas, conduct high-standard studies and research activities, produce the skilled human resources necessary to the health service industry, and improve health services in the region. KAHS has a School of Medicine, a School of Nursing, and a School of Public Health.

Karnali Pradesh is the sixth Nepali province located in the Mid-western region of Nepal. Karnali is the most underdeveloped region of Nepal due to its geographic features. KAHS reserves 40% of its admissions for residents of local districts, including Dolpa, Mugu, Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, Jajarkot, Bajura, Bajhang, and Achham.

KAHS is preparing to implement a Bachelor of Midwifery Sciences program in 2018, and the curriculum has already been accredited by the Ministry of Education and Nepal Nursing Council. While KAHS was preparing academic arrangements for program, they addressed the Ministry of Health in regard to a shortage of equipment for the Midwifery Skills Lab, which is a requirement for all implementing universities of the BMS program. Consequently, the Ministry requested support from RMF for the establishment of the lab. RMF Nepal has received a list of the necessary equipment, as well as price quotes from different vendors. The proposal is now at RMF headquarters and pending approval. By providing this support to KAHS, RMF’s aid would be reaching the remotest parts of the nation, branching out through 6 of Nepal’s 7 provinces.

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.