ICM welcomes two recently joined members in the Americas region: Haiti and Suriname: Marie Nadege Aladin writes about the Association des Infirmieres Sages-Femmes de Haiti and Board member Debbie Lewis reports on a visit to Suriname.

AuteurAladin, Marie Nadege

L'AISFH : The First Association of Nurse-Midwives in Haiti

The problems related to maternal and infant-juvenile health warrant very special attention in Haiti and require synergistic energies and actions to reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality in the country.

Aware of the disastrous consequences if these problems persist, the Nurse-Midwives of Haiti judged it necessary to set up and put into action the first Association of Nurse-Midwives in Haiti (AISFH). Created on 17 September, 2004, the association comprises national nurse-midwives and foreign midwives working in Haiti, assisted by other professionals who share the same objectives:

* providing solutions for reducing the rate of maternal and infant mortality.

* promoting the scaling up of nurse-midwives.

The total number of members is 45.

In a dedicated attempt to meet these objectives despite its low resources, the AISFH has already conducted various visits to different localities in order to assess the prospects in the communities for augmenting the access to basic health care services both in rural and urban settings. These visits are in response to multiple requests by women and other members of these communities.

The AISFH hopes to conduct assessments throughout the country with the aim of obtaining a thorough overview of the most vulnerable places with respect to basic reproductive health care, leading to future projects for increasing access to basic health care involving various actors working in accordance within their respective mandates. We also feel it would be desirable to have a nurse-midwife present at all levels of decision-making within the Ministry of Public and Reproductive Health.

Joining the International Confederation of Midwives

The AISFH became an official ICM member in 2006. We joined in order to strengthen the international knowledge exchange and also to receive assistance in assessing the maturity and strength of our association. We are a young association who wants to take part in and benefit from the experiences of midwives from around the world. The support of ICM will also be important with respect to the implementation of our projects for maternal and infant health and of course in midwifery training and the updating of the midwifery competencies.

Special thanks

We would like to thank ICM for allowing us to share this information with the readers of International Midwifery. We would also like to thank the members of AISFH who have supported and...

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