With the support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Department for International Development (DFID), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS) launched a new partnership as part of the Strengthening the National Midwifery Program in the capital on July 6. The goal of the 4-year project is to strengthen the Bangladesh Midwifery Society to advocate for the midwifery profession and to create demand for midwifery services. Midwives, as a separate profession, did not exist prior to 2010 when the prime minister announced the deployment of 3,000 midwives in order to improve maternal and new-born health across the country.
The director general of Nursing and Midwifery, Tandra Sikder, attended the program highlighting the importance the government is placing on ensuring that midwives can provide professional care to women and babies. At a recent international midwifery congress, which took place in Toronto, Canada, the establishment of the midwifery profession in Bangladesh was presented as a successful case study. Although only a small number of midwives have been deployed throughout Bangladesh to date they are already making a difference. For example in disaster affected areas such as Cox’s contest comprising renowned photographers Hasan S. Chandan, Shafiqul Alam Kiron and Jannatul Mawa selected 12 best images for the 2017 calendar and picked up the winners from among a staggering 111 entries. The theme for the con - test was ‘Landmarks of Bangladesh.’ The Incomplete Mughal Monument by Syed Ahasanur Karim Antor of Product and Channel Support from the Cards Division of Consumer Bazar district, midwives worked to care for mothers even in the midst of cyclone Mora. The Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS) was established in 2010 and is the Professional Midwives Association in Bangladesh has more than 1,400 members. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) was founded in 1881 and is the Professional Midwives Association in the UK, serving as the voice of UK midwifery with 46,000 members. The RCM has experience strengthening global midwifery, including successful midwifery twinning projects in Cambodia, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda.