Evidence shows midwifery education in Bangladesh is making a real impact by improving women’s access to safe childbirth, says study reports.
Women also chose trained midwives for safe childbirth.
Those two independent studies focused on the lessons learnt while strengthening midwifery in Bangladesh, and pathways to women’s empowerment through midwifery education, said the British High Commission.
The findings indicate that the UK Government’s support helped the Government of Bangladesh increase deployment and utilize the diploma holder midwives which greatly improved women’s access to safe childbirth over the last three years.
In 2021, the midwives, deployed in 403 Upazila Health Complexes (UzHCs), conducted 87 per cent of the total deliveries at those UzHCs. In 2018, the percentage was only 24.
The studies also found that the existing midwifery education in Bangladesh is effective and contributing to sharpen the social and counselling skills, and improve interpersonal communications of midwives while attending any service recipients.
In contrast to the traditional birth attendants, the trained midwives are able to provide more institutional support to use technology-based tools for child delivery, which makes midwifery in Bangladesh more trustworthy to service recipients.
Nowadays, rural residents seek service from licensed midwives for delivery and mother care; they strive for assistance and advice from licensed midwives.
Md. Saiful Hassan Badal, Secretary of the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was present as Chief Guest. Robert Chatterton Dickson, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Dr. Vibhavendra Raghuyamshi, the Chief of Health, UNFPA, Bangladesh, Dr. Daniel Novac, First Secretary, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh attended the seminar with over hundred representatives from different ministries, development partners, implementing agencies, midwifery institutions, and student midwives.
Siddika Akter, the Director General of the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), chaired the seminar.
Md. Saiful Hassan Badal, the Secretary of the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), said, “The national midwifery programme has greatly contributed to the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths, as well as caesarean section rates in Bangladesh.”
In his remarks, British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson said, “The UK has been a close development partner to Bangladesh since independence. Our joint effort to strengthen midwifery in Bangladesh adds to the five-decade long Brit Bangla Bondhon for development.
“Today almost 3,000 midwives are working in the public health system and have helped deliver over 300,000 children over the last five years. Almost 500 midwives are serving in the Rohingya camps and others in the private sector, enabling safer childbirth for women and their babies across Bangladesh.”
The British High Commissioner highlighted the importance of empowering young women through midwifery education, which helps women to realise their potential and contribute to a healthy society. He reiterated the UK Government’s prioritization of women and girls in its new International Development Strategy.