Key delegates from the Asia Pacific region meet in Bangkok to discuss regional midwifery workforce issues
The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health at University of Technology Sydney (WHO CC UTS) was pleased to be part of the Asia Pacific Midwifery Workforce Workshop which was held in March 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop was hosted by the H4+ partnership (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank) and ICS Integrare, supported by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).
Over 70 delegates from 17 countries were represented at the workshop which enabled exchange on midwifery workforce issues between countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Senior leaders in midwifery education, regulation and association came together to share experiences and discuss the findings from recent evidence and international movements supporting the advancement of maternal and newborn health.
Professor Caroline Homer from the University of Technology Sydney delivered sessions explaining the impact of care by midwives from the Lancet Series on Midwifery and importance of stabilizing under-and over-medicalization of midwifery in the region. Florence West, Research Officer with the WHO CC UTS supported the workshop as a rapporteur. Colleagues from the Maternal and Child Health Initiative in Papua New Guinea were also present.
From Left – Florence (WHO CC UTS), Petra Ten-Hoope Bender (ICS Integrare), Caroline Homer (WHO CC UTS), Michaela Michel-Schuldt (UNFPA)
Specific outcomes of this workshop included:
- Improved understanding of the development of the State of the World’s Midwifery Report 2014 country data including the midwifery workforce projections
- Improved understanding of the similarities and differences in the issues affecting the strengthening of the midwifery workforce between the countries in the Asia Pacific region
- Discussion country-specific midwifery workforce development strategies to inform policy
A passionate delegation participated in lively discussions regarding the issues affecting midwifery workforce development to increase the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of care for women and children. It was acknowledged that in the Asia Pacific region, a variety of cadres provide midwifery services and changing population demographics will increase the need for a strengthened midwifery workforce.
A workshop report with recommendations for action will be available on the ICS Integrare website.