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New international twinning project

8 May, 2012

New international twinning project

The RCM has secured support for a major three-year midwifery twinning project with Nepal, Cambodia and Uganda. Posted: 8 May 2012 by Rob Dabrowski

The RCM has secured support for a major three-year midwifery twinning project with Nepal, Cambodia and Uganda.

The world

The government-supported project is hoped to strengthen midwifery associations and improve midwifery services in the countries.

The three twinning countries were selected because they have high rates of maternal and perinatal deaths.

The news was announced by Andrew Mitchell, secretary of state for international development, at an RCM event held today (8 May) to celebrate International Day of the Midwife.
He said: ‘British midwives, nurses, and medical teams are among the best in the world.

The Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) allows us to harness their expertise to help give developing countries the skills needed to improve the health of some of the world’s poorest people.

‘It is an international scandal that one thousand women die every day in pregnancy or childbirth and tackling the tragic scale of maternal and child deaths is a key priority for the British government.’

The twinned countries will work together to foster two-way learning and knowledge and skills sharing throughout, and hopefully beyond, the course of the project.
The RCM will work with midwifery associations and governments in each country to dovetail the project’s aims with their national plans for reducing maternal and perinatal deaths and to strengthen midwifery services.

The RCM will match midwives with the relevant skills and experience to each country and a major focus of the project is on the UK and twinned countries learning from each other.

The UK volunteer midwives will use their expertise to support midwifery associations and midwifery colleagues in their twinned country.

Cathy Warwick, RCM chief executive, said: ‘This is a wonderful project to be announcing.

‘I am delighted that the RCM has received this funding to strengthen our sister associations and give the opportunity to many UK midwives who want to give something back to midwifery and help women in Nepal, Cambodia and Uganda.

‘However, it is not a one-way street because we in the UK will also have a lot to learn from our colleagues overseas, who often have to deliver care in very difficult circumstances.

‘This project is about learning and sharing experiences and practice to make a difference there and here and bring back a different perspective to midwifery in the UK.
‘Our members have told us that they are very keen to see the RCM continue its international work and this is a hugely significant development in that area. This builds on the RCM’s existing global work to support and strengthen midwifery worldwide.’

The project is funded through the Health Partnership Scheme, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the benefit of the UK and partner country health sectors.

Jane Cockerell is chief executive of the Tropical Health and Education Trust, which is managing the scheme.

She said: ‘We are delighted by the quality and range of these HPS grants and look forward to supporting the UK and developing country partners in their delivery of effective, sustainable health workforce training and development projects.’

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