Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) joins the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the world in marking the International Day of the Midwife, celebrated annually on 5 May.

Increasing women’s access to quality midwifery has become a focus of global efforts to realise the right of every woman to the best possible healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth.

Midwives changing the worldThe World Health Organization (WHO) further states that midwives are the trusted companions of women throughout their pregnancy, birth and the period following childbirth. They play a vital role to assist women to achieve healthy pregnancies and make pregnancy a positive experience. Safe and effective midwifery care can avert 83% of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and newborn deaths.

According to Mariam Al Mutawa, Executive Director of Nursing at Rumailah Hospital, HMC’s maternal health services provided excellent support across various hospitals that cared for mothers with COVID-19 and their newborns. Al Mutawa is also the Acting Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at HMC and Nursing Lead for the COVID-19 Tactical Command Group.

She said that they have continuously used midwifery education to transform and improve practices, updating all competencies following ICM recommendation and evidence-based practices.

HMC has been committed to developing its midwifery practice and education over the past few years with the expansion of Clinical Midwife Specialists, Midwife-Led Clinics, Childbirth classes, Community Postnatal Home Care and Midwifery Education.

Haila Swaid Salim, Executive Director of Nursing at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center said that due to the infection control measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face clinics are reduced, but the teams found alternative ways to stay connected with the women in their care.

The COVID-19 restrictions meant that ante-natal classes could no longer be offered in hospitals, but our resourceful teams have adapted to ensure continuity of care across all our maternity facilities.

According to Salim, they switched to virtual consultations to ensure continuity of care. These services are delivered by highly-experienced and trained midwives. Where necessary, mothers are seen face-to-face; but if the pregnancy is going well, these virtual consultations enable mothers to benefit from expert advice while in the comfort and safety of their own home.

Salim said that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that they aim to continue providing virtual classes and online consultations.

International Day of the Midwife

This year’s International Day of the Midwife theme, ‘Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives’ aligns closely with the State of the World’s Midwifery Report 2021, due to be released soon. Co-led by UNFPA, WHO and ICM, the report provides an updated evidence-based and detailed analysis on the impact of midwives on maternal and newborn health outcomes and the return on investment in midwives.

Midwives are key to achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals and provision of quality care, essential to meeting the reproductive health needs of women and fundamental to saving the lives of women and newborns.

ICM leads the ongoing and growing efforts to raise awareness about the fundamental role of midwives in improving quality maternal and newborn care, ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths. It also partners with WHO to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3.1) of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030).

Also marked today is World Hand Hygiene Day, for which the WHO calls on healthcare workers and facilities to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. Nurses and midwives are frontline heroes who deserve acknowledgement, appreciation and protection, especially for their critical role in infection prevention and control.

For more information, visit hamad.qa

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