Doha, 4 February, 2020: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently held the Qatar International Women and Newborn Health Conference. The two-day conference, which focused on global challenges that impact the health of women and their children, is the first such event held in the region.
Sister Haila Swaid Salim, Executive Director of Nursing at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center and Executive Sponsor of the conference, said as the largest provider of maternal and newborn healthcare services in Qatar, HMC is committed to raising the expertise and competence of the healthcare professionals - nurses and midwives - who provide the majority of care to the country’s women and newborn babies.
“Working alongside Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Sidra Medicine, and private sector colleagues, HMC has significantly invested in developing hospital facilities and broadening services provided to women and newborns. We have advanced a program to implement midwifery education, in partnership with international and in-country university partners, and this conference is providing an international platform to share our progress to date and to highlight our future ambitions to support excellence in perinatal well-being,” said Ms. Salim.
Sessions held as part of the Qatar International Women and Newborn Health Conference covered the spectrum of women’s and newborn health issues, with a focus on health profession education for nurses and midwives. Organized under the theme ‘Supporting Excellence in Perinatal Well-being’, the conference was aligned with the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018–2022 priority focus on ‘Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies.’ There were also sessions dedicated to the objectives of improving capabilities to monitor causes of maternal complications and introducing national protocols and guidelines for maternity care, including infertility and cesarean delivery.
The importance of introducing midwifery care service and providing integrated high-quality maternity services across the various stages of pregnancy, including antepartum, intrapartum, and post-delivery was also discussed with HMC’s successful piloting of a bespoke community midwifery service for postnatal mothers being highlighted.
Dr. Nicola Ryley, Chief Nursing Officer at HMC and Executive Sponsor of the conference emphasized the importance of the event, both nationally and internationally, noting that 2020 is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the importance of the roles of nursing and midwifery in achieving universal health coverage, as well as being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale - a key figure responsible for the founding of professional nursing,” said Dr. Ryley.
Dr. Ryley noted that Qatar is committed to meeting the needs of its growing population by further developing these professional services through delivering HMC’s Maternity, Women’s and Newborns Service Transformation Plan.
“This is an integral part of HMC’s Nursing and Midwifery Strategy 2019-2022 and will introduce dedicated midwifery education aimed at preparing future Qatari midwives for this important role in ensuring safe, effective, and compassionate care for women and newborns,” added Dr. Ryley.
Conference speakers included high-profile international, regional, and local healthcare practitioners, advocates, researchers, and policymakers who are experts in the field of maternity and newborn care. The first keynote speaker was Professor Dame Tina Lavender who is a Professor of Midwifery and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Health at the University of Manchester. Ms. Aisha Salim Rashid Al Mamari, the Academic Coordinator of the Midwifery Program at the Higher Institute of Health Specialties for the Ministry of Health in Oman delivered the second keynote.