Today, 5th May, is the International Day of the Midwife and 2022 marks the 100 year anniversary of the International Confederation of Midwives!
For the Hamlin Team, International Day of the Midwife 2022 is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work that Hamlin Midwives do every day. Each week, approximately 430 babies are delivered at Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics. Every day, almost 100 Ethiopian women receive vital antenatal care at a Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic. The critical work of Hamlin Midwives is the difference between life and death for tens of thousands of women and babies every year – and are the key to eradicating obstetric fistula.
Hamlin-trained midwives continue to play an essential role in preventing obstetric fistula and saving the lives of mothers and babies. In the last financial year they delivered over 22,000 babies and ensured over 32,000 pregnant women were seen for their first antenatal check.
International Day of the Midwife 2022: Celebrating 100 Years of Progress
Each year, the International Confederation of Midwives designates a theme for the annual celebration of the world’s midwives, the International Day of the Midwife. The theme for International Day of the Midwife 2022 is ‘100 Years of Progress’. This year’s theme reflects a centenary of global advocacy for international midwifery standards.
Today, the importance of midwives as life-saving, highly-skilled autonomous health care professionals is widely acknowledged. Through the creation of global standards of midwifery, such as the requirement for midwifery students to attend at least 40 deliveries prior to graduation, has raised the quality of care that midwives practise.
Hamlin Midwives save lives
As Hamlin Midwife Tizita explains, “Wherever we go, we can easily win the trust of the community and take a leading position in the community’s maternal health care. Here in our community, we are making progress in supporting pregnant women and healthy children, and are also preventing fistula – so it’s very important!”
As the only midwife in her community, Tizita is often called to manage life-threatening childbirth complications. When a patient was bleeding from a postpartum haemorrhoid late at night, the core values that Tizita learnt during her studies at Hamlin – that each woman deserves to be treated with love and respect – came to the fore. “She needed to be referred to a hospital immediately, otherwise she could have died. At that time [of night], however there was no ambulance or transport available. Then I decide to implement all the necessary steps needed to save her life. I accompanied her to the nearby hospital on public transport to assist her,” recalls Tizita.
“Now both she and her baby are well and healthy. Whenever she meets me, she hugs me with love and thanks me for saving her life. We have become almost like family after the delivery,” Tizita says.
The life-saving work of Tizita and her Hamlin midwifery colleagues is only possible thanks to the generosity of Hamlin supporters. From recruiting students for regional and rural Ethiopia and funding scholarships at the Hamlin College of Midwives, to stocking Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics, Hamlin donors are helping to transfer the maternal health care landscape in Ethiopia.
Empowering midwives: Hamlin’s new Master’s in Clinical Midwifery degree
Hamlin is proud to have launched a new Master of Science in Clinical Midwifery degree at the Hamlin College of Midwives. The first intake of 20 postgraduate students began their studies in January 2022.
Hamlin’s goal is to continue to scale up and increase future intakes to 30 students annually. As a postgraduate program, the Master’s degree consists of 55 credit hours of study and 582 hours of clinical practice to be completed over two and a half years of study. The key outcomes of the degree are to reduce new incidences of obstetric fistula and maternal and neonatal deaths; increase the number of safe deliveries of newborn babies; provide quality neonatal care post-childbirth and reduce crisis referrals to Hamlin hospitals for emergency caesarean deliveries due to Hamlin Midwives providing early detection of pregnancy or childbirth complications.