HMC Recognizes Valuable Contribution of Midwives
International Day of the Midwife 2021 Theme Advocates “Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives”
Doha, 4 May 2021: The World Health Organization (WHO) states that midwives are central to providing quality care to mothers and newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) joins the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the world in marking International Day of the Midwife, celebrated annually on May 5th. Increasing women's access to quality midwifery has become a focus of global efforts to realize the right of every woman to the best possible health care during pregnancy and childbirth.
The 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.
Ms. Mariam Al Mutawa, Acting Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at HMC, Nursing Lead for the COVID-19 Tactical Command Group and Executive Director of Nursing at Rumailah Hospital said that the HMC’s maternal health services provided excellent support across various hospitals that cared for mothers with COVID-19 and their newborns.
“Our midwifery services are so important, especially during such challenging times as this pandemic. We have cared for women who were COVID-19 positive who have given birth, as well as new mothers and their newborn babies who needed to be in quarantine facilities. At the heart of our efforts is the safety and wellbeing of mother and baby and this is what each of our midwives is dedicated to,” added Ms. Al Mutawa. “Within these years we have continuously used midwifery education to transform and improving practices, updating all competencies following ICM recommendation and evidence-based practices. We therefore celebrate the achievements of midwives and their contribution to the COVID-19 responses and constant efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn health outcomes.”
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.
Ms. 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 the coronavirus, face-to-face clinics have to be reduced, but the teams have 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 the hospitals, but our resourceful teams have adapted to ensure continuity of care across all our maternity facilities.
We adapted to virtual consultations to ensure continuity of care, support and reassurance for many women, their partners and family. These services are delivered by our highly experienced and trained midwives. Where necessary, mothers are seeing face to face; but if the pregnancy is going well, the virtual consultation enables mothers to benefit from the expert advice while in the comfort and safety of their own home. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, we aim to continue providing some virtual classes and consultation online,” explained Ms. Salim.
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 (SoWMy) Report 2021, due to be published this month. Co-led by UNFPA, WHO and ICM, the report provides an updated evidence base and detailed analysis on the impact of midwives on maternal and newborn health outcomes and the return on investment in midwives.
Midwives are the 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 to improving quality maternal and newborn care, ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths. It also partners with the World Health Organization 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 health care workers and facilities to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. Nurses and midwives are front-line heroes who deserve acknowledgement, appreciation and protection, especially for their critical role in infection prevention and control.