Saturday, November 25, 2017

A framework provides midwifery service a boost in Bangladesh

  • Nurul Islam Hasib from Toronto,
    Published: 2017-06-22 01:11:02 BdST


Bangladesh which introduced midwifery as a profession in recent years has given the service a boost by adopting the Midwifery Services Framework, a globally accepted measure for the sector.

“The MSF has been found to be useful to prioritise the government’s interventions,” Tandra Sikder, director general of the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery in Bangladesh, told the international congress in Toronto on Wednesday.

She said with the adoption of the Midwifery Services Framework or MSF, the midwifery service in Bangladesh has been included in the new health sector plan as a separate profession.

“Code of ethics for midwives have been finalised. We have formalised the partnership with the Royal College of Midwifery in the UK,” she said, sharing some results to date after an MSF workshop in October last year.

Four working groups were formed for developing accreditation guidelines and tools, licensing and re-licensing guidelines, midwifery bachelor curriculum and syllabus and a code of ethics for midwives.

The DG said they were well on track to complete the task set out for the workshop.

“Data collection has been completed to inform the accreditation guidelines and curriculum has also been reviewed,” she said while sharing some of the progress with other delegates at the conference.

She, however, sought more support from the donors and international organisations like UNFPA and the ICM to achieve the goal.

“The government is committed to moving the MSF forward,” she said.

The MSF has been developed by the International Confederation of Midwives or ICM and other strategic partners as a tool to identify capacity gaps in countries that are working towards a higher standard of sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health service delivery.

It is known as a “comprehensive" analytic tool that helps a country work collaborate to identify opportunities for enhanced newly developed midwifery services to fill national gaps.

“It is a tool that addresses what midwives need and also what the mothers need,” Malin Bogren, midwifery specialist at UNFPA Dhaka office, told

UNFPA is helping the government to develop the profession after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment in 2010 at the UN.

“We’ll continue our support to the government,” Malin said.

As of Jan 2017, Bangladesh has educated 2800 midwives who are registered with the Bangladesh Nursing, and Midwifery Council and their services are being overseen by the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery Services.

UNFPA says Bangladesh needs 20,000 well-educated and well-trained midwives posted in areas with high need and backed up by effective HR policies and the profession needs full autonomy.

Over 4,000 midwives, medical practitioners, obstetricians, gynaecologists, health care professionals, governments, policy makers along with UN agencies, international non-government organisations and donors from across the world have convened this time at the 31st International Confederation of Midwives’ or ICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, Canada.

This is the biggest event on the midwifery calendar where all share and learn, network and interacts with each other’s work on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights globally, and gain new knowledge and latest evidence in midwifery practice, education and research.

The symposium on the MSF was organised on the sidelines with the countries who implemented the framework between Sep 2015 and May 2017 in diverse settings across both Africa and Asia.

The ICM Congress will end on Thursday.