When writing down their choices of vocation, few people today opt for midwifery, resulting in the fact that we now have a large number of uneducated and incompetent midwives. Wikipedia defines midwifery as a healthcare profession, where experts provide prenatal cafe to expecting mothers attend to the birth of the infant, and provide postpartum care to the mother and her child.
Practitioners of this profession are known as midwives, a term used for both men and women. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, midwives do not enjoy the same or even similar status that other professionals related to the field of healthcare do. Midwifery as a profession is not understood in Pakistan. A professional midwife is equated with a daai (the illiterate woman who delivers 80 per cent of babies in Pakistan). And because of this ignorance, midwives in Pakistan do not enjoy the prestige awarded to them in the developed countries like Europe where 80 per cent of the babies are delivered by professional midwives.
Qualification Required for Becoming Midwife in Pakistan
In Pakistan those who want to pursuer a career in midwifery are required to complete their matriculation and should be under 35 years of age,
Midwifery Courses in Pakistan - Midwife Jobs in Pakistan
Those interested in the profession can apply to any of the 120 plus institutes offering midwifery training and which are both in the public and the private sector. In fact, there are more schools of midwifery in Pakistan than schools of nursing. Besides this every school of nursing has a school of midwifery, and every female nursing has a school of midwifery, and every female nurse is required to complete additional one year midwifery training besides a three year nursing course. This one-year training is compulsory, since without it, a nurse cannot get a promotion.
But very few nurse midwives practised midwifery once they enter the practical field. In the end, midwifery is practised by those who are not nurses and some schools train only midwives who are not trained nurses. There are three categories of non-nurse midwives; the lady health visitor, the pupil midwife and he community midwife.
Midwifery Training schools in Pakistan
In Pakistan, major organizations that are providing proper midwifery training under the umbrella of nursing education are the Aga Khan University, Karachi; Dow Institute of Nursing Karachi, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad,; Ziauddin University, Karachi; the University of Health Sciences, Lahore; Fauji Foundation, Rawalpindi, the National Institute of Child Health, Karachi and Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi.
Jobs and Career opportunities for midwife in Pakistan
A midwife is not very popular due to the low status given to this profession, particularly by nurses. In a country like Pakistan where birth rate is on the rise, one might think that a career in midwifery would be a profitable and this is true to some extent when it comes to setting up one’s own clinic.
Besides setting up their own clinic midwives also have various opportunities to work in public as well as private hospitals. Some of the many hospitals where Pakistani nurse midwives are employed in the maternity departments include the Aga Khan hospital, karachi Sobhraj Maternity home, karachi, the National Institute of Child Health karachi, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed hospital karachi Liaquat National hospital, karachi Shifa International hospital Islamabad; Medicare Hospital and maternity home, Kohat and Fauji Foundation hospital, Rawalpindi.
Not only does a midwife has scope for progress, but if she is a nurse with midwifery training, then there are plenty of opportunities to move up the ladder. Unfortunately, the quality of present training does not allow or prepare midwives to function independently even at the national level. Let alone at the international level. And even though, the nurse midwives do get jobs in a few other countries, they do not function as midwives there.
There was a time when midwives had no voice and no platform of their own. But today, they have a professional organization and hopefully it will improve the situation of midwifery education and practice.
The bottom line is that a lot needs to be done to create awareness about the role and functions of a midwife at very high levels. Only then will the career prospects and reputation of this profession gain a respectable status in our society.