The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
The Royal College of Midwives is a full member of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development
The aim of the Global Network is to maximise the contribution of nursing and midwifery in order to advance Health for All in partnership with WHO and its member states, member Centres, NGOs, and others interested in promoting the health of populations. The Network will carry out advocacy and evidence-based policy activities within the framework of WHA (World Health Assembly) and regional resolutions and the WHO Programmes of work.
Safe Motherhood project in Macedonia
Teacher Preparation Programme for Midwives in Macedonia
The MNMA approached the RCM to assist with the strengthening of the midwifery chapter of the association, and to be expert partners in the development of an appropriate curriculum.
A collaborative project between the Royal College of Midwives UK as a WHO Collaborating Centre, and the Macedonian Association of Nurses and Midwives was designed to prepare a cohort of 8 midwives to influence and lead midwifery education programmes in Macedonia. The project’s objectives are set out as below:
Figure 1: Memorandum of Collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Macedonian Association of Nurses and Midwives (MANM) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) UK
1. Developing a midwifery education curriculum and strengthen the midwifery education infrastructure by assisting the Macedonian Association of Nurses and Midwives. This process will include the involvement of other key stakeholders.
2. To train a cohort of eight midwife teachers, who will then be enabled to cascade knowledge and skills throughout the midwifery profession within Macedonia, and so ensure the sustainability of the midwifery education programmes (Article 3)
The project also aims to strengthen the midwifery chapter of the MNMA and enable it to fulfil its role as the professional association for midwives in Macedonia. The initiative will enable the MNMA to establish and monitor standards in midwifery education and practice and to ensure that the MNMA is able to facilitate the participation of midwives in national and international decision-making processes, and monitor government action. It also aims to enable the MNMA to work effectively with maternity service users and engage with them on policy issues. These aims will be achieved through sharing of expertise and experience with the MNMA and through collaborative working with the MNMA on certain key activities listed below.
Teacher Preparation Programme
The programme was designed as a two year course, beginning with foundations of advanced midwifery knowledge; teaching and learning theory and practice, through to becoming competent within teaching in classroom and clinical settings. In the last term of year 2, the theory and practice of curriculum design and implementation culminated in an active curriculum development project in which the student teachers were supported to design and develop a curriculum for students to become midwives, appropriate for Macedonian maternity services.
The programme was delivered by experienced senior midwifery educationalists from the Royal College of Midwives, who were responsible for the teaching, assessment and supervision of this integrated programme.
There were four modules, each lasting six months. Student teachers received experience in teaching students in clinical and classroom settings (school, college or university) and also were engaged in developing continuing professional education for qualified midwives. The student teachers were encouraged to focus on providing a good learning environment for student and qualified staff in all settings. The student teachers were assessed on a continuous basis, and achieved the required standard at the end of the programme.
The programme included several full teaching weeks, supported by distance learning during which students will be set course work in the form of written assignments, tests and presentations. Additionally the students were further supported with electronic seminars and meetings.
During the final second year, the student teachers spent a period of 3 weeks supervised practice placement in a university in the United Kingdom. This gave the student teachers an opportunity to be exposed to midwifery teaching in different settings and participate in curriculum design, curriculum development, and programme management. They visited different education settings with innovative services – such as learning laboratories; skills centres; multiprofessional learning sets. Student teachers also participated in teaching students from a range of different courses, from initial midwifery training, to diploma, graduate and masters Levels. The programme tutors enabled the student teachers to appraise and reflect on and compare their UK experience UK with that in Macedonia.
The RCM tutors are presently supporting the student teachers in completing a curriculum document that is fit for Macedonia. A publication for use by midwife teachers and the completed curriculum are expected to be launched at the Macedonian midwives’ congress in October 2010.
Download: Safe Motherhood Project in Macedonia poster: Building Capacity - Educating the Educators