The World Needs Midwives, Now More Than Ever
¡Saludos desde Peru! (Greetings from Peru!)
We are on a lunch break here in Lima during an exciting workshop--the second in a series of activities focused on strengthening professional midwives in the Latin America/Caribbean. Supported by the UNFPA and the Americas region of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) this event is hosted by the Colegio de Obstetras del Peru (Midwives Association of Peru).
Participants comprise midwife educators, regulators and leaders who hail from Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala, Bolivia, and of course, the host country. We only have four days together and time is flying! The first two days centered on the ICM global standards for education and regulation. Each country team presented a profile that included maternal-newborn statistics, and highlights of the midwifery situations in their respective nations.
It is certainly fun learning from each other while the Peruvian midwives ensure that we are well fed in the process (did I mention we were on a lunch break?): Arroz con pollo, yucca, Tacu Tacu, Ceviche…and all manners of dessert….but I digress.
Today is devoted to advocacy training. Advocacy expert and White Ribbon Alliance member, Bertha Pooley is facilitating the session along with yours truly. Participants are in country teams working on advocacy objectives. After lunch, we’ll practice developing advocacy messages—everyone looks forward to the filming of this exercise which they can use in helping to train others.
There is so much to accomplish by tomorrow… we have a packed agenda and all are eager for knowledge and skills to tackle various challenges. Some are working to on legislation to professionalize midwifery; others are focused on improving education programs; yet others lack adequate midwives to provide quality care. Whatever the issues, we are united in our mission to make safe motherhood a reality for all childbearing women. So as I reach for a second helping of Alfajores (a delicious local dessert), I am reminded of the ICM theme that the world needs midwives, now more than ever.