News update on the Rural Midwifery Project in Malawi
The Rural Midwifery project is a joint collaboration between Immpact and Robert Gordon University (RGU) and has been running for more than two years under the watchful eye of the Principal Investigator, Immpact’s Jacqueline Bell. Funded by the Scottish Government, the project’s main focus is on the development and evaluation of an education programme for a new group of midwives ‘Community Midwife Assistants’ (CMAs). Increasing women’s access to high quality maternity care is the most effective way of reducing deaths amongst women and babies, and this is essential to Malawi’s efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5 – the improvement of maternal health, specifically through the reduction of the maternal mortality ratio. The first CMA graduates are now working in rural areas and are already starting to make a difference.
The project team have organised a series of exchange visits between Malawi and Aberdeen. In January, Immpact welcomed Dr Ann Phoya (Project Manager) and Mrs Ellen Chirambo (Project Officer). The main purpose of their visit was to work with Immpact colleagues to produce plans for the evaluation of the CMA programme.
The visitors also travelled to Edinburgh to meet officials from the Scottish Government, including Magnus Maharg and Penny George, Liz Grant from Edinburgh University, Charlie Bevan, Scotland Malawi Partnership and from RGU Rebecca Wallace and Karen Wylie.
While the visitors were in Aberdeen, plans for the February visit to Malawi by RGU midwife educators were also finalised. RGU midwifery tutors Donald Todd and Jane Geddes have since returned from the planned visit to Malawi where they gave training support to tutors and CMAs on emergency obstetric care skills and respectful care. Follow Donald and Jane’s blog series ‘Malawi moments’ to find out how they got on.