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An analysis of the global diversity of midwifery pre-service education pathways

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-03, 00:35 authored by S Neal, A Nove, S Bar-Zeev, S Pairman, E Ryan, P ten Hoope-Bender, CS Homer
Background: The development of competent professional midwives is a pre-requisite for improving access to skilled attendance at birth and reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. Despite an understanding of the skills and competencies needed to provide high- quality care to women during pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period, there is a marked lack of conformity and standardisation in the approach between countries to the pre-service education of midwives. This paper describes the diversity of pre-service education pathways, qualifications, duration of education programmes and public and private sector provision globally, both within and between country income groups. Methods: We present data from 107 countries based on survey responses from an International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) member association survey conducted in 2020, which included questions on direct entry and post-nursing midwifery education programmes. Findings: Our findings confirm that there is complexity in midwifery education in many countries, which is concentrated in low -and middle-income countries (LMICS). On average, LMICs have a greater number of education pathways and shorter duration of education programmes. They are less likely to attain the ICM-recommended minimum duration of 36 months for direct entry. Low- and lower-middle income countries also rely more heavily on the private sector for provision of midwifery education. Conclusion: More evidence is needed on the most effective midwifery education programmes in order to enable countries to focus resources where they can be best utilised. A greater understanding is needed of the impact of diversity of education programmes on health systems and the midwifery workforce.

History

Journal

Women and Birth

Volume

36

Pagination

439-445

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

1871-5192

eISSN

1878-1799

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

5

Publisher

Elsevier