Afghanistan Moving Forward with Midwifery Education
Active advocacy around the need for career progression opportunities for midwives started in 2009, especially after the South Asia Midwifery Strategic Planning workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Upon return from Dhaka, in 2010, the Afghanistan Midwifery Strategic planning workshop was organized where an action plan was developed, particularly addressing higher education and regulatory body for midwives.
Since then, the Afghan Midwives Association (AMA) has been advocating for the career progression opportunities for midwives. The advocacy activities were conducted during national forums like the International Day of the Midwife, Annual Midwifery Congresses, as well as individual and group meetings with key stakeholders including: Minister of Public Health, Minister of Higher Education, Kabul Medical University Chancellor, and representatives from private sector, and other national and international organizations including UN agencies.
It is noteworthy to mention that the last advocacy push was given by Ms. Pashtoon Zyaee, ICM Technical Midwife Advisor. Ms. Zyaee met with the Minister of Higher Education and advocated for the need of higher education for midwives. Fortunately, all the efforts paid off when the Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan (MoHE) accepted to start Post Registered Midwifery (RM), Bachelor of Science in Midwifery (BScM) and four years Direct Entry BScM in the Kabul Medical College.
Ms Pashtoon Zyaee, ICM Technical Midwife Advisor, sharing ICM Global Standards for Education
Both programs (post RM BScM and four years direct entry) are unique of their kind, because it is first time in the history of the midwifery profession in Afghanistan that midwives will received degrees. Certainly, this will help midwives in moving forward not only with their profession, but also in filling the missing places at the decision and policy making levels. The midwifery education programs are based on the need of existing registered midwives. At the same time, the curriculum is largely adapted from the ICM model curriculum and its global standards.
The journey for the career progression of midwives has just started, and AMA understands that there is still a long way to go. AMA wants to convey heartfelt gratitude for their continuous support and some of them are Ministry of Higher Education, Kabul Medical University, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Kabul Office, Cordaid, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, ICM, Aga Khan University, Kabul, Zawul Institute of Higher Education and many other individual supporters.
Ms Fatima Gohar, Independent Consultant and Advisor to AMA, responding to feedback on curriculum
His Excellency Minister of Higher Education sharing views on the need for higher education for midwives
Report prepared by the Afghan Midwives Association.