Bangladesh Bulletin

The Royal College of Midwives and the Bangladesh Midwifery Society started a new twinning partnership in June 2017.  Initially for one year, this may extend for a further 3 years if successful.  The project is part of a larger midwifery strengthening project in Bangladesh, funded by UK-Aid and UNFPA.

Activities for the first year include setting up the twinning partnership, undertaking an organisational assessment using the MACAT tool, identifying and engaging stakeholders, visiting all 8 branches (divisions) around the country, developing a new membership database, employing a staff member as executive assistant, writing a newsletter, developing capacity in advocacy, making some improvements to the office, holding an AGM and conducting elections for the executive committee.  A busy year!

Having conducted a scoping visit in October 2106, I arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday for my second visit this year.  Additionally, our consultant Tamara Curtis visited in in August.  So far we are ma…

Totally unauthentic but very nice veggie noodles

One of my favourite dishes in the whole world is Cambodian Noodles or Nom Banh Chok.  A bowl of these with a friend at the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, with a Cambodian iced coffee made from condensed milk is the stuff of my dreams.  If you want to know how to make authentic Cambodian noodles you can see a video here.

Back in the UK we eat a lot of Asian food in our house: with my years of living in Southeast Asia and Hannah's Chinese heritage I guess it's not surprising, plus I am able to buy Asian ingredients when I travel.  Noodles in some form make it on the household menu most weeks, often on a night before a grocery delivery when we need to use up lots of odd veggies from the fridge.  Tonight I had a vague plan to cook something noodley but when I opened the fridge I saw a bag of left-over cooked spaghetti from Monday's bolognese.  I hate waste so decided to see how Spaghetti worked in place of noodles.  It was delicious!

So, here is my recipe for very un-authentic…

Blasting off with the BOOST Project

The Royal College of Midwives has recently signed a contract with UNFPA Bangladesh to help strengthening the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS) through a twinning project, similar to what we have implemented in Uganda, Cambodia and Nepal.  We are calling this new project BOOST: Bangladesh Midwifery Society Opportunity for Organisational Development through Twinning. Initially for one year, the project may extend for a further 3 years and is being funded by DFID through UNFPA. During this first phase we will help BMS to undertake an organisational capacity assessment using tools from the International Confederation of Midwives and walk through a series of other activities together such as situational and stakeholder analyses and an election of office bearers.

I visited Bangladesh in October 2016 to meet BMS and to attend the Midwifery Services Framework Workshop that was being hosted by UNFPA and ICM, At that time I visited various clinical sites and educational facilities, met funde…

RCM global midwifery update from Toronto

I am currently in Toronto, attending the International Confederation of Midwives 31st Triennial Congress and the preceding council meetings.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet midwives from all over the world and to consider the role of the Royal College of Midwives in strengthening midwifery globally.  It’s particularly special to be here with our twinning partners from midwifery associations in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda.
Since April 2017 I have travelled widely around the UK; twice to Cardiff for global health events, to Edinburgh and London for the launch of a new leaflet for nurses and midwives interested in working internationally, to Liverpool to give a keynote lecture for International Day of the Midwife, teaching student midwives at Kings College London, to Oxford for the RCM’s Zepherina Vietch Lecture, to York for another keynote lecture and to Salford – to talk about writing up some of our work as a PhD!
I have also travelled to Uganda to close the MOMENTUM project, whic…

Guest blog from Jack Andrew

Hello All!

This is Jack Andrew here. Joy has kindly given me opportunity to write a guest post for her blog so here I am! A little information about me and why I’m here to begin with before I delve into my experiences with the MOMENTUM project in Uganda.

I am the RCM's data analyst, a job which I fulfil part time as I'm a keen sportsman and still compete in the decathlon both nationally and internationally. I was given the chance to travel to Uganda with the RCM’s MOMENTUM project team through a career development opportunity advertised internally.  Admittedly I am no expert in midwifery, international development or Uganda but I got the travelling bug a few years back and have enjoyed experiencing new places and cultures ever since. I saw this as a golden opportunity to experience part of the world I had never visited from a completely unique perspective, so I applied and it turns out it was possibly the best 300 words I ever wrote!

I left Uganda yesterday after a busy fina…

Closing out the MOMENTUM project

I'm in Uganda again for 2 weeks to close out the RCM's MOMENTUM project (Developing a Model of Mentorship for Ugandan Midwifery).

MOMENTUM is a twinning project between the RCM and the Uganda Private Midwives Association.  However, we've also been working closely with the Ugandan Nurses and Midwives Council, the Ministries of Health and Education, various universities and midwifery training schools and seven clinics or health centres.  The project aimed to develop a national standard for midwifery mentorship, to develop a work-based learning module to train midwives as mentors (and test the module by training 40 mentors) and make improvements in 4 clinical pilot sites (8 clinics, a mixture of government, faith-based and private facilities).   Our team of 7 UK midwives have completed their assignments and all our targets have been met.  Our team is here to collect the last of the data, to conduct a closing workshop presenting the model to all the stakeholders, to coordinat…

A visit from our Ugandan Twins

23 October 2016

Looking back over the past almost 4 years as Global Professional Advisor for the Royal College of Midwives, there have been several periods of intense activity during which re reassure ourselves that calmer waters are ahead - only those peaceful pools seldom occur.  The past few weeks have been packed with logistically complicated programmes and the days ahead offer little respite.  However, we wouldn't have it any other way.  We know that investing in midwifery is the most cost-effective intervention in public health and working with our partners so that, in the future, every woman and newborn receives accessible, acceptable, affordable and quality midwifery care is an enormous privilege that drives us to respond.

Over the past few days, five of our Ugandan midwife partners have come to the UK on an exchange visit.  Three of them had never travelled outside Africa so we knew they would need careful nurturing to best make use of the experience.  We therefore arra…