Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Midwifery Association in Rwanda!

Josephine from Rwanda on the left

The Strengthening Midwifery Symposium had 4 key areas that were addressed: Competency, Education, Regulation and Professional Associations. Prakasamma from India told of the newish Society of Midwives of India (SOMI). It is only 9 years old and they have already had 7 successful conferences. Other areas, such as Nepal and Bhutan, have smaller organizations that are just getting off the ground. In many parts of the world, midwives remain invisible because they do not have professional organizations to represent them. The midwives are "hidden" within the nursing associations. So, we talked about how midwifery globally can be strengthened by the midwives forming their own societies.
My new friend Josephine from Rwanda was inspired. She is from the ministry of health, but she is also a midwife. She told me that after the genocide, they had to start from zero. On our last day there, we were having breakfast and she decided to form the first midwifery association of Rwanda. We actually were trying to decide what it would be called!! It is so inspiring to see women finding their place in the world. I told her that I would be happy to help in whatever way I could.
So today, I received my first email from Rwanda, this is what she said:

"Greetings from Rwanda!
I have passed the message to the midwives I work with, they are very ready to start the midwifery association and move forward."

Wow! Just like that, a midwifery association is born! Congratulations to Josephine and the midwives of Rwanda. I will keep you posted.

Sara from Uganda and Josephine from Rwanda

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