UNFPA lauds Nepal for Bachelor in Midwifery programme

KATHMANDU: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday said the official start of the Bachelor in Midwifery programme in Nepal was an important milestone towards improving maternal and newborn health in the country.

The Government of Nepal launched the programme in Kathmandu University on January 5 as a part of its long-term strategy of making midwifery an independent profession by producing professional midwives.

Starting Bachelor in #Midwifery program in #Nepal is a milestone: https://t.co/AvecfRikAh pic.twitter.com/pzaUg2sP6C

— UNFPA Nepal (@UNFPANepal) January 16, 2017

"We commend the National Academy of Medical Science and the Kathmandu University for starting the Bachelor in Midwifery courses," said UNFPA Country Representative to Nepal Giulia Vallese in a statement.

Stressing that the midwives had a key role in reducing maternal mortality, Vallese said, "Recognising their importance in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality as well as morbidities contributes to making every pregnancy wanted and every birth safe."

Well-trained midwives together with a recruitment, deployment and retention plan could help avert roughly two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths, the UN population agency informed in the statement, "They could also deliver up to 87 per cent of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services."

"Midwives are one of the most cost-effective and culturally sensitive paths to achieving universal health care."

Nepal has made tremendous progress in reducing maternal mortality from 901 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 258 in 2015, according to the Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group comprising WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank.