RCM global twinning project supports midwife to win international award

A midwife mentored and supported by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has won an international award. Karima Akter, Secretary of the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS), has won an Asia Pacific Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH) award for her work supporting pregnant women during the pandemic. 

"I am really proud to be a midwife, I love the profession and I really like to work with women, so I am very happy to get the AAAH award, it is a great honour for me,” said Karima. "I am really delighted to get such a prestigious award not only for me but also for all the midwives in Bangladesh and around the world. I think it is precious because it will enable me to do the best I can in my future as a midwife, and also for the midwifery profession in Bangladesh. I would like to add my special thanks to the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery here in Bangladesh, the United Nations Population Fund, the BMS, and the RCM for supporting me." 

Karima took part in the national Young Midwife Leader Programme, which came out of the ongoing twinning programme between the RCM and the BMS.  Senior midwives in Bangladesh supported Karima with her leadership development along with volunteer midwifery leaders from the UK. The award pays tribute to Karima’s tireless work during the pandemic, coordinating a helpline for midwives, supporting them with their concerns and mobilising support.  

She was recently promoted to the position of Midwifery Officer within the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery, at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh, and is the first midwife to be appointed to such a position at national level in the country.   

Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at the RCM, said: “This is a testament to Karima’s drive, determination and professionalism, and she is an incredible example to us all. I can only stand by and admire her achievements and I am proud that the RCM’s twinning project has been able to support Karima and play a part in this success. It is recognition also of the importance of the RCM’s work in strengthening midwifery globally. It is especially fitting that this award has been conferred on a midwife in the Year of the Midwife.” 

The RCM/BMS twinning project is funded by UNFPA Bangladesh as part of their Strengthening Midwifery programme and has been running since 2017.  

“This award is not only a recognition of Karima’s dedication and commitment to high quality midwifery care, but also of the efforts of the BMS in raising the profile of the profession in Bangladesh, and in supporting its members through the most challenging of circumstances, including a global pandemic,” added Birte.  

The AAAH award was established in 2010 to recognize the outstanding performances and contributions of health professionals in the Human Resources for Health field.    


More information on the RCM’s Twinning Project is at https://www.rcm.org.uk/promoting/global/projects/global-midwifery-twinning-project/.