Editorial: the gemini effect
Midwives magazine: Issue 3 :: 2012
RCM director of LRPD Frances Day-Stirk on the RCM’s role and reputation internationally.
How many midwives know of the RCM’s long history and role internationally? Of its influence in Europe through membership of the European Midwives Association, and globally through the ICM whose initiative, International Day of the Midwife (IDM), we celebrate annually?
It is a history of the RCM providing technical expertise and advocacy to support midwives and development of the profession. But how many are aware of the structures that unify standards of education and practice in the world today?
A survey of RCM members in 2010 indicated support of the RCM’s international role. One member said: ‘Midwives in developing countries need to forge strong links with midwives in the UK, which will provide guidance on practice and assist them to become members of the worldwide sisterhood of midwifery.’
So there is good news to celebrate this IDM, as the RCM has been awarded a major THET (Health Partnership Scheme: Multi-Country Partnership) grant funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). This will support establishing twinning relationships between Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda, to strengthen their midwifery associations. Built on the twinning concept of our supporting partner, the ICM, it recognises the benefits and results of a ‘co-learning and co-development’ culture (Crisp, 2010) to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality.
In his congratulatory letter, secretary of state for international development Andrew Mitchell emphasised his pleasure that ‘the RCM will be involved in expanding the role that UK professionals have in bringing about change in important areas’ and ‘as a means of delivering tangible development benefits and improving health outcomes in some of the poorest countries’.
The RCM enjoys a worldwide respected reputation for its leadership in promoting standards of practice, education and regulation. This award marks a significant moment in our history as it challenges and confirms our relevance to global midwifery and the reciprocal benefit of international work. We have much to celebrate this IDM.
RCM director of LRPD
► This project is funded through the Health Partnership Scheme, which is funded by DFID for the benefit of the UK and partner country health sectors.
Crisp N. (2010) Turning the world upside down: the search for global health in the 21st century (first edition). RSM Books: London.