Pakistan midwives bring 'traditional loving care with modern knowledge and skills': Imtiaz Taj Kamal, President of the Midwifery Association of Pakistan, introduces the new association as it is welcomed to membership with ICM this year.

Author:Kamal, Imtiaz Taj

In IM March/April 2004, we reported that Imtiaz had been awarded a gold medal for promoting the work of midwives in Pakistan over 50 years. She wrote then: 'It has been a long and uphill journey. I will be 77 in August. I am fortunate that I can see the results of my 'crusade' to promote midwifery in Pakistan. Over the past years midwifery is at last being discussed seriously at national level'. Three years later she now writes:

For the last three decades, a small group of midwives has worked informally, collecting evidence and making noise about the unacceptable standards of midwifery education and practice in Pakistan.

The founding of the association

The Midwifery Association of Pakistan (MAP) was formally established in 2005, through an extremely democratic process, and it was legally registered in 2006. In 2007, it was accepted into ICM's membership.

MAP's philosophy is 'Midwives bring traditional loving care with modern knowledge and skills to serve mothers and newborns and save lives'.

Its mission is 'To contribute to the reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in Pakistan by providing skilled care to women during the entire maternity cycle'.

MAP's objectives are:

* to assist the government in developing a human resource plan for preparation and utilisation of midwives

* to improve standards of basic, post basic and continuing education of midwives

* to lobby for better working conditions and for a career structure for midwives

* to safeguard the rights of licensed midwives to practice their profession in a health facility or in the community

* to safeguard the rights of women to safe maternity services.

MAP's guiding principle is, 'The future of midwifery in Pakistan is a shared responsibility of many stake holders'. Therefore it does not work in isolation. MAP's 'hidden' but very obvious agenda is 'to give Pakistan's midwives an identity'.

MAP's major achievements since its birth in February 2005 to date have included the following.

International Day of the Midwife

We have celebrated the International Day of the Midwife, every year in more than one location in the country with a person of authority in the health field as the chief guest (with the financial assistance from the Government of Pakistan, UNICEF, UNFPA and USAID).

In 2007, three events have already been held. Two more are to take place in June. We space them so as to receive press coverage over two months!

Partnerships and projects

MAP has worked in...

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