Midwifery education still lacking in Nepal

Authors: Van Teijlingen, E., Bogren, M. and Berg, M.

Conference: Innovation in Midwifery Education ... What Works?

Dates: 3 July 2015


Background: Midwifery is one of the few health professions with a global curriculum set by International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). Nepal is one of a few countries which has not yet reached these professional standards for midwifery.

Objective: This paper explores the feasibility of establishing midwifery in Nepal to ICM’s Global Standards and Competencies. The central goal of such strategy would be to ensure that safe and competent midwives provide high standards of maternity care to every woman.

Method: Using a mixed methods approach comprising: (1) a review of policy and education documents; (2) interviews; and (3) site observations and assessment of five higher education institutions and assiciated hospital-based maternity departments. Permission for the research was granted by the Ministry of Health & Population and the Nepal Nursing Council.

Findings: Our study identified six levels of education of nurse staff providing midwifery care, all regulated under the Nepal Nursing Council. A midwifery bachelor programme was under development. Although midwifery is not officially recognised as a separate profession from nursing in Nepal, the country has an established midwifery association (MIDSON). This professional association is largely made up of nurses who are involved in delivering maternity care. The study identified four university colleges that could offer a midwifery curriculume as they are already involved in teaching nurses and doctors. A further college was also keen to establish a midwifery bachelor degree. This research also resulted in a paper in the international journal Midwifery.

Source: Manual