State of the World’s Midwifery Report

The 2011 International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) conference was held in Durban, South Africa from June 19-23, 2011. The conference was attended by more than 3000 midwives from all over the world and it was the first time it was held on the African continent. The five day conference was packed full with workshops, plenary sessions, symposiums and many presentations. In addition the conference also attracted the submission of posters from local and international participants. The conference is a triennial celebration and the next location will be Prague, Czech Republic 2014. Prague has been a political, cultural and economic centre of Europe during its 1,100 year existence. Continue reading

International Confederation of Midwives in Durban 2011

The biggest event in maternal and child care will be coming to Africa. South Africa will host the International Confederation of Midwifery Conference on June 19-23, 2011 in Durban. Midwives from allover the globe will be attending. South Africa is well-known for its big 5 in the world of nature and wildlife preservation, and so it is to be the theme of the conference in Durban. The theme of the ICM 2011 congress is “midwives tackling the “Big 5” globally. The ICM congress has turned to underline the Five Big Challenges facing Midwives Globally which are the leading causes of maternal death and morbidity in the world. Continue reading

World Health Organization and Agencies

The World Health organization recommends that a skilled attendant be present at every birth. The WHO recommends lots of things but in reality it is not possible. Yes, the WHO renamed  African midiwives to become “traditional birth attendants.” I am ne of those attendants the WHO is taking about. WHO strongly advocates for “skilled care at every birth” to reduce the global burden of 536 000 maternal deaths, 3 million stillbirths and 3.7 million newborn deaths(3) each year. Continue reading

Alliance of African Midwives

My organization is called the Alliance of African Midwives. The African Alliance of Midwives is a nonprofit organization whose purpose it is to improve the health of women and children in Africa. My mission for the African Alliance of Midwives is to provide comprehensive, quality care to women in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum that is safe, holistic, loving, and that honours the divine in all people. Continue reading

Midwifery Education in South Africa

Midwifery education in South Africa goes back to the early 1960’s. During that period in order to become a midwife a person first had to qualify as a nurse and then subject themselves to a period of training as a midwife.There was a three year nursing diploma course offered followed by a one year course in midwifery.This format was the norm for many years. Young women were first trained as nurses and it was compulsory at the time to complete midwifery traiing even if your willl never work as in a midwife setting. Continue reading

Abortions in South Africa and midwives

I am a midwife. Midwives bring life into this world. They are doing great work and I am honoured to know many wonderful compassionate and caring midwives. Midwives provide care across the spectrum of a woman’s reproductive life–from well-woman care, to pap smears and yearly exams, to prenatal care, and the birthing process. Continue reading

Traditional Birth Attendant is derogatory term

Midwives have been around since the dawn of man. All those involved in the birthing process were called midwives. African midwives are no different, having been around since the dawn of man on earth. The western world however decided, in its wisdom, to change the definition of what a midwife is. They changed the name of the traditional African midwife to that of Traditional Birth Attendant; how derogatory can one get. What effectively has happened is that another country in the world has labeled the work of African midwives with the term “attendant.” Continue reading

Health Services in Africa

There are very few people who understand the complexity of the African culture.The African continent and it’s peoples have been studied in depth but this has taken place from an outside perspective and mainly from a western standpoint. This Western standpoint is sometimes a bias view, with most advice that has been given coming from people in the West who fail to understand that things in Africa are done differently. Western birthing practices are but one aspect of Western thinking that has been forced upon the African continent. To take things one step further the concept of Western democracy has been forced upon Africa, the result being a continuous struggle in Africa for power. The traditional trible system has largely been ignored, had this not been the case we may have seen far more respect and order prevailing in Africa. Continue reading

Sensitivity towards traditional midwives in the health care system.

Millions of babies were born successfully eons before midwives and so-called baby experts were invented. As for so many of us in this technological world of us, there is no readily available information of who attended the birth of pregnant women before colonization of the African continent. But we all know that for centuries midwives assisted women during and after births. Most of these midwives could not read or write and therefore, no documentation were done. What is known is that midwives have always been there from the stories told by our parents. They were called midwives, not birth attendants. Today, midwives are a dying breed and Africa need midwives now more than ever. Continue reading