Second meeting of TWG on Maternal, MNCH, consultative workshopAugust 26, 2013
QUETTA: Second meeting of Technical Working Group TWG on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health MNCH and consultative workshop with provincial health department stakeholders was held this weekend in a local hotel.
The meeting is part of the project which aims to expanding access to skilled birth attendance by focusing to address the policy gaps in the Community Midwives CMWs component of the MNCH program Pakistan. The meeting was attended by diverse stakeholders of health department and they thoroughly discussed as to why CMWs are not catering the services which they were meant to cater.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Aisha Siddiqa said that it’s high time to learn from our experiences in the field and do something which is evidence based for bringing about policy improvements so that the students who are supposed to work after completion of their course actually do that. She specifically mentioned that the trust of community need to be build first and the CMWs need to be properly introduced to the community so that they don’t just ignore their role by looking at their young age. She also stressed the need of some amendments in the age and education for CMWs during their selection.
Dr. Rafique Mengal from the MNCH program also presented an overview of the current status of the CMW program so as to inform the opinion of the participants on the current on ground situation.
During the meeting, Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan from Health Services Academy Islamabad carried out group work by asking the participants to come up with their suggestions on CMWs in three categories i.e. Group I: Entry level issues, Group-II Performance Level Issues and Group III Exit/Attrition level issues. There were valuable inputs from the participants which will be documented in the form of a synthesis paper which in turn would work as a live document for all stakeholders to work in the field of CMWs. The same consolidated suggestions would be placed before the Provincial Steering Committee to recommend those policy recommendations to the government for approval and implementation.
Project Manager of “Saving mothers and newborns in communities”, Ahmed Ullah also gave a brisk project update of the Child Survival and Health Grants Program implemented by Mercy Corps in Quetta, Kech and Gwadar. The project aims to focus on deployment of private sector CMWs in the communities to improve access to quality maternal and newborn services & improved healthcare seeking practices and hence contribute in reducing the maternal and child deaths.