Training unskilled midwives in mountainous villages: Improving maternal health in mountainous regions

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On March 16th, 49 local midwife trainees finished an 18-month course held by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Ministry of Health and Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Forty-nine trainees will return to their mountainous villages to take part in communication, health education activities, provide prenatal, birth and post-birth care, as well as identify and assist mothers at high risk. The pilot model of training midwives in mountainous villages, funded by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has been implemented in three provinces of Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan, and Kon Tum. UNFPA Deputy Head Urmila Singh has proposed that other activities be launched after the pilot programme. “We encourage the Ministry of Health to consider assessing the effectiveness of the intervention model and expand it to other mountainous provinces,” she said. According to Singh, commitments and support from government agencies at all levels, the health system and community are needed to effectively use the recently graduated trainees. The Health Departments’ decision and political commitment to employ those trainees also means funds are required from the provincial budget to pay monthly allowance for the trainees.
(Gia Dinh & Xa Hoi p6 - Family & Society)