Midwives and Safe Motherhood Promoting Respectful Care of Women with Linda Robinson
January 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Respectful care for women is a universal right that is often ignored. Ethnicity, economic status, geographical location, and allocation of resources all influence the culture of care. Educating women to advocate for themselves and demand respectful care is key. Respect for women across cultural barriers and more fairly allocated resources is a realistic vision and goal.
Linda Robinson, CNM has spent the past two years living and working in Malawi, Africa teaching midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing. She was part of the Global Health Service Partnership, a partnership between SEED Global Health and Peace Corps. This organization sends midwives, nurses, and doctors to teach in five countries in Africa to train medical professionals in their national setting, utilizing available resources.
Malawian women have few resources, poor education, and a growing fear of health facilities. Abusive and disrespectful maternity care has led some laboring women to avoid delivering where skilled providers practice. The lifetime maternal mortality risk in Malawi is 1 in 29 and unskilled care at childbirth is a contributing cause. Why is maltreatment of childbearing women so widespread? How can midwives foster a standard of respectful care and empower women to advocate for themselves? To address this we proposed creating a model ward managed by midwives and run according to the standards of the International Confederation of Midwives for respectful maternity care.
Linda will present on her experience including a short background of the organization, the country, the work, and efforts to create ways to empower women. She will describe the process of planning and implementation of a model ward to improve the student experience, empower midwives to function as independent practitioners, promote respectful care of women, and improve overall maternal/infant outcomes.
She also started a project to teach women with no formal education some skills to increase their self esteem and sense of self-worth. They learned to make jewelry out of local and donated materials, learned simple business concepts, and how to find unique markets to sell their creations. Some of their jewelry will be on display and for sale.