Student midwives take on Tanzania
In conjunction with Global Health Alliance Network of WA (GHAWA), eight Curtin undergraduate Bachelor of Midwifery students completed a two week placement in Tanzania, Africa. The placement was facilitated by two Registered Midwives, Sharon MacLean, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine (SoNMP) and Kirsten Blacker, King Edward Memorial Hospital.
The students had the opportunity to work in both Muhimbili National Hospital and Mwananyamala Hospital. They gained invaluable experience practising midwifery skills in a birth suite, a neonatal unit, a pre-eclampsia ward and an antenatal care unit.
Curtin students buddied up with Tanzanian midwifery students, and had the opportunity to exchange knowledge and teach each other different cultural aspects to midwifery care. An important aspect of practising in a low income country is to rationalize why decisions are made, which often conflict with your own standards of care. Each day, the students witnessed midwifery care that challenged their own ideals.
The Tanzanian midwives often commented on the students’ ability to carry out all stages of midwifery care, how hard working they were, and how they were excellent roles models for Tanzanian midwives and students. As the facilitator, I was very proud of the Curtin students, acknowledging their midwifery training, and the professional manner in which they represented the SoNMP.
Alongside the clinical placement, we also spent a day out at a rural middle school teaching Days for Girls. Days for Girls celebrates women by providing sustainable feminine hygiene solutions and health education. The day was also enjoyed by the boys, with a few new footballs to kick around and enjoy playing the international game of soccer.
Overall, a successful clinical placement and trip to Tanzania was had by the students and the facilitators, paving the way for future students to perhaps make small, but significant changes in improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes.
Contributed by Sharon MacLean, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine