Celebrating The International Day Of the Midwife, May 5

Yesterday, May 5 was the International Day Of the Midwife. As activists for abortion rights, we would like to once again emphasize the need for policies that allow mid-level providers, both midwives and nurses, to perform Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) and Medical Abortion (MA).

_DSC0027This unfortunate exclusion is because of the hegemony of doctors in the medical profession. There is no doubt that doctors, who undergo very rigorous training are better suited for performing complex surgical and medical procedures than most other service providers in the system. Yet, trained mid-level providers can be equally competent as junior doctors at performing some procedures. This includes MVA and MA, as studies show. The example of Nepal, where midlevel providers already provide these services, shows that such inclusion is also likely to improve access to safe abortion in rural and remote areas, where there are more nurses and midwives than doctors.

With that we would like to share again with you our blogs on task shifting, and the empowerment of midlevel providers.

An Introduction To Task Shifting: ASAP’s exchange study tour at Katmandu last August, highlighted the roles of mid-level providers in reducing Nepal’s Maternal Mortality rate by 70% in only ten years. Do read also the testimonials from our participant mid-level providers.

Empowerment and Autonomy at Nepal: Task shifting improves access, but it also creates empowered and confident care givers who can them improve the quality of patient care in the regions where they work. This blog highlights yet another example from Nepal.


About Shweta Krishnan

Shweta Krishnan was the Communication and Networking Officer For the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership between June 2012 and March 2014. She is a feminist writer with a background in medicine, and has a strong commitment to promoting sexual and reproductive rights for all.
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