Tuesday, 13 June 2017

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.
With Ann and Address, midwives from Malawi

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, which was implemented in partnership with our twinned association The Uganda Private Midwives Association.  This project aimed to develop a model of midwifery mentorship for Uganda.  The final evaluation found that the project had achieved its objectives and also had many unforeseen benefits. I coordinated the closing workshop and remaining data collection and co-hosted the international/Ugandan team conducting the final project evaluation. We also conducted a needs assessment to inform any future projects and facilitated a development opportunity for one of the RCM’s staff members, Jack Andrew (Data Analyst), to visit Uganda and experience and understand our global work.  Whilst in Uganda we also offered peer support to RCM members living and working there long-term.

With Diane, RCM member working in the Kampala Slums

With Fishy, RCM member working in rural Jinja
Presenting certificates of appreciation at the final MOMENTUM workshop
'‘MOMENTUM has been crucial in not only developing the mentorship model, but also getting various stakeholders to talk to each other and work together to address professional issues and challenges
(Final Project Evaluation)

I have been involved in the RCM’s ongoing review of its global work – since February we have had a task and finish group to develop the RCM’s global strategy.  This work will be presented to the RCM executive later this month.  We have also been developing resources, such as the leaflet mentioned earlier, for our members who have an interest in global work.

So, as for many others, this has been a busy but fruitful few months.  Sadly our global projects officer, Eleanor Shaw, has moved on from the RCM and I want to take this opportunity to thank her for being such a wonderful colleague, for keeping me sane and for helping to shape and develop both the MOMENTUM project and the RCM’s wider global work. We wish you well and will miss you Eleanor!

We have been successful in getting funding from DFID through UNFPA to start a new twinning relationship with the Bangladesh Midwifery Society and so I will be travelling to Dhaka after my time in Canada, to undertake activities to establish the new partnership.

With Halima, President of the Bangladesh Midwives Association, in October 2016

Meanwhile, here in Toronto I will be leading a symposium with our twinning partners on the long-term impact of midwifery association twinning.  We also have a poster presentation about the MOMENTUM project and I will be representing the RCM on our exhibition stand at regular intervals.  It will be a very busy 10 days of networking and meetings, so all prayers and good wishes for stamina are appreciated!  Thanks for your interest in our global work.

The world needs more midwives!

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