Judith Chamisa, Africa East
I trained as a midwife in 1984, obtained a degree in adult education in 1994 and an MSc in maternal and child health in 1998. I am currently studying for a PhD with the University of South Africa.
Originally I chose midwifery out of curiosity, rather than a real interest, but now I know I could not be better placed in a profession that gives such a needed service to the community.
I have extensive experience both in midwifery practice and education, working currently as a lecturer for the Zimbabwe Open University and teaching topics such as women's health issues, maternal and child health and reproductive health. I also conduct action research in the clinical area, and have presented scientific papers at national and international level.
I am currently the President of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives.
My international experience includes attending an ICM workshop in the Philippines in 1999, a programme in sexual health and rights in Sweden in 2001 and an HIV and AIDS workshop in South Africa in 2002. In addition, I am a member of the ICM Research Standing Committee.
Debrah Lewis, Americas region
As a teenager I volunteered in a hospital. From this experience I decided to become a nurse--then it was a natural choice to become a midwife. I felt that the care that a woman and her family received at this time was crucial, and I wanted to make a difference.
At Columbia University in New York, USA, I attained an MSc in Maternal Child Nursing, and a certificate in midwifery in 1986. I worked in New York and also did volunteer work in Zimbabwe, Africa, before moving to Trin-idad & Tobago 15 years ago.
I currently have an independent birth centre and home birth practice. I am a founder, and a director, of Mamatoto Resource & Birth Centre, which was established to provide information on reproductive health and the option of midwifery care for women and their families.
I am also a founder and Immediate Past President of the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Midwives, where I remain on the Executive Committee I represent midwifery on several national committees in the Ministry of Health.
I am involved with midwifery education both locally and internationally. At the Nursing Council of Trinidad & Tobago, I am a member of the Curriculum Committee and a midwifery examiner; and at the University of The West Indies I am a part-time lecturer at the School of Advanced Nursing Education.
I am extremely honoured to have been...