SOWMY launch in Rwanda
The national launch of SoWMy in Rwanda was attended by over 80 people, including representatives organizations such as UNFPA, USAID, JHPIEGO and UNICEF along with print, television and voice media members.
The Rwanda Association of Midwives (RAM) Executive used the launch to present not only the profile page of the SoWMY 2014 report, but to present the ‘true current state of Rwandan Midwifery’. Current challenges in midwifery practice were highlighted by case examples of current practices from the last 6 months. The stories focused on the 3A’s and 1Q that comprise comprehensive midwifery care. The RAM had previously identified several gaps in policy versus practice that had negative impact on the provision of quality midwifery services but had lacked the appropriate platform to bring these gaps to the focus of high level discussions and attention.
Advocacy efforts on the part of the Midwives Association did not go unheard by the Ministry of Health (MoH) represented by the Director General of Clinical Services, Dr. Theophile Dushime. The Director General promised publicly to advocate for inclusion of midwives for relevant MoH policy guidance and made plans to meet with a larger selection of midwives from around the country in a town hall to hear concerns and develop an action plan.
The day was also used to provide in-service training for 40 midwives focusing on Maternity Safety, Communication and Evidence based Midwifery practice. ‘Hard Talks’, true reality, laughter, songs, & CPD were the words used to describe the day.
The launch ended with Sister Mary Marbeirwe RN,RM the Chief Nursing Officer of Rwanda who built the current Nursing & Midwifery structure after the genocide in 1994. She stated: "We cannot leave what we have constructed for others to destroy, we must work for the betterment of the country where women deserve more.”
Author: Pandora Hardtman RN,CNM,DNP- Professional Standards Consultant to Rwanda Association of Midwives