Working visit to Liberia
ICM’s Regional Midwife Advisor for English speaking Africa, Jemimah Dennis-Antwi visited Liberia in May to host a workshop on leadership, advocate for the improvement of midwifery systems at the Ministry of Health, support the Liberia Midwives Association and celebrate International Day of the Midwife.
A total of sixty-eight (68) newly elected leaders of the Association at the county levels participated in the 2 day training workshop to build their leadership skills in managing the Association. Using the ICM Midwifery Association Capacity Building Assessment Tool (MACAT) the facilitators of the workshop provided an update to the participants and assisted them to review their knowledge and understanding of the following areas:
- Leadership and management practices
- Financial resource management
- Visibility and media relations
- Functions of an association
- Collaborations, partnership and networks
The workshop created an opportunity for the Association leaders to share knowledge and learn; to further develop these skills however practical supervision and mentoring are necessary. These supervisory measures could be provided by the president of the Liberian Midwives Association (LMA) and UNFPA. Alternatively a programme manager/officer attached to the LMA for a period would also be recommended.
In a meeting between the Liberia Nurses and Midwives Board (LNMB) and the Ministry of Health, successes and challenges were discussed including the urgent need for MNCH partners in Liberia to synergise support and recognise the key players in improvements towards MNCH. Recommendations from the meeting include a proposal for the LMA to undertake a capacity-building excersise by employing a programme manager/officer to assist in building capacity and conducting mini-projects. To further enhance midwifery the curriculum for Liberia should include the ICM standards to ensure competency in training and practice. The LBNM should create a midwifery desk and liaise with partners to second a competent midwife with programme management skills to the Board; LMA could then act as a liaison between development partners, MOH and LMA to enhance midwifery representation in MNCH.
The celebration of IDM began with a Church service on Sunday May 5th; some highlights included interaction with new mothers at selected hospitals and health centers and the day was launched on Tuesday May 7th 2013 and the launch was preceded by a street march in the early hours of the morning.