In July 2013, the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and the Tanzania Registered Midwives Association (TAMA) were awarded funding by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation for the Improved Service Delivery for Safe Motherhood Project: Strengthening & Supporting Midwifery in Tanzania (ISDSM).
Our three-year project addresses the need for improved maternal health service delivery in six targeted districts across Tanzania. The project specifically targets geographically disadvantaged areas that face limited access to emergency obstetric care and shortages of adequately skilled maternity health care providers.
The result of this collaboration between CAM and TAMA is the Midwives Emergency Skills Training Program (MEST), the only training of its kind, geared specifically to midwives in Tanzania. Over the course of this project, a total of 300 midwives will receive training that is essential for the management of emergency situations. It is hoped that this effort will serve as a replicable model to support safe motherhood internationally.
Participants have been very excited about the ‘hands on’ approach to the MEST training. The majority of participants have had two years of professional training, through which they learned to manage normal deliveries. Abnormal deliveries including pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, breech delivery, shoulder dystocia, were only discussed in theory, with no practice. This makes the MEST training particularly relevant, and many participants say they look forward to applying their new skills within their health facility.
– Deborah Bonser, RM