World Health Worker Week

By Carmel Moran on 06 April 2018 Global midwifery

For World Health Worker Week, the RCM’s global team wants to celebrate the contribution of midwives across the world who provide much needed maternity care in low-resource settings. Through our global midwifery projects we have been lucky enough to meet many dedicated and inspirational midwives across Nepal, Cambodia, Uganda, Malawi and Bangladesh, and representing them today we want to introduce Sangita.

Sangita qualified in February 2018 and is part of the third batch of fully-licensed midwives in Bangladesh. She trained at Dhaka Nursing College, and has met the RCM’s global team several times during our in-country visits as part of the RCM’s twinning project with the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS).

Over the past year she has been proactive in her desire to shape the future of midwifery in Bangladesh by attending a number of RCM and BMS workshops and providing valuable input as a student midwife. Here she is below with Aine Alam, who volunteered on the project in 2017.

She gave us her perspective on why she wanted to join the health workforce as a midwife. 

“I wanted to become a midwife because I want to work with women and their families during moments of profound change, and assist in the process during delivery," says Sangita. "I want to empower women to make choices about their bodies and bring them health, confidence and strength. In our country, women are not always conscious about their health and their rights, especially during pregnancy. That’s why I chose this profession, so that I can ensure better health. I am privileged to be a midwife.”

Only around 40% of deliveries in Bangladesh are with a skilled birth attendant, which is in part due to shortage of qualified health workers, lack of awareness about a midwife’s role and limited access to care in rural communities. Now that she is licensed, Sangita is adding to the much needed pool of midwives necessary to address the skills shortage.

When asked about what she finds most rewarding about being a midwife, Sangita says: “Once a healthy baby is born, I put the baby in the mother’s arms and make sure that she and her baby are healthy. When the mother smiles at the sight of her baby and tells me that my presence has contributed to their health, that is the best and most rewarding moment for me”.

As a young midwife, Sangita has big ambitions.

“My hopes for the future are to ensure better health for mothers and babies, but also to contribute towards strengthening the midwifery profession, so that all women look for a midwife during their delivery.”

We know that there are thousands of midwives and nurse midwives in Bangladesh who are committed to guiding mothers through pregnancy and childbirth, and we want to recognise each and every one of them for their essential contribution to midwifery, and the health workforce.