Yemen and United States Announce Assessment Findings to Enhance Support for Midwives
ADEN, March 8, 2023
Today, Yemen and the United States commemorated International Women’s Day by announcing findings of an assessment examining the life-saving role of community midwives in southern Yemen and exploring additional support and opportunities to help them succeed in their work.
“It is most fitting that we celebrate the vital role of dedicated midwives on International Women’s Day,” said U.S. Ambassador Steven Fagin. “In Yemen and other countries around the world, we need innovative approaches to providing training and support to the midwives who are currently providing critical health care every day.”
The assessment, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), found that there is a dire shortage of midwives in Yemen. Those who had formal training reported that they felt the training curriculum was not a good match for actual midwife practice. They described under-equipped training facilities and outdated curricula. They said they needed better equipment to do their work, for example, birth kits and safety supplies such as latex gloves, and birth weight indicators. Pre-service education for midwives can help them be prepared to deliver quality care at the start of their careers.
The findings, based on a survey of 500 health facility workers—including doctors, nurses, and midwives—and 43 in-depth interviews, also indicate that midwives in Yemen lack access to professional development training. Twenty-four percent of health facilities personnel surveyed reported that their facility and its community midwives had not received any on-the-job training. Eighteen percent of midwives taking part in focus group discussions said they had never benefited from continuing education or professional development training.
New approaches to training such as online learning, hybrid learning, and apprenticeship models can lead to better access to professional development for midwives—and better care for mothers and children.
USAID, which has operated in Yemen since 1959, provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian relief and development support to the Yemeni people in 2022. For more information, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/yemen.