Aligning with the global movement and recognizing the potential for a country-specific report, the Afghan Midwives Association (AMA), with the technical and financial support of the Afghanistan Nurses and Midwives Council (ANMC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), took the lead in gathering data for the global report and subsequently for Afghanistan’s State of Midwifery (SoWMY) 2021. The country report will serve as a reliable evidence-based source for the donor community, partners, and policymakers to further improve the midwifery program from different perspectives.
Based on the Afghanistan’s country profile reflected in SoWMy 2021, currently, there are 5,098 Dedicated RMNCAH Equivalent (DRE) midwives, who allocate 100 per cent of their time to RMNCAH. Based on projections, the need for midwifery professionals and midwifery associate professionals would be around 24,000 by 2030. At the time of reporting, there are 34,825 graduated midwives consisting of: 8,078 from Community Midwifery Education (4,359 or 49 per cent) and IHS (3,719 or 46 per cent) who are assumed to be competent midwives based on midwifery accreditation criteria. The remaining 26,747 (77 per cent) graduated from the private sector. Given these numbers, Afghanistan has already met its threshold for 2030. However, the competency and quality of skills of those who graduated from the private sector has yet to be determined. Job opportunities should be created for the around 18,000 midwives from both the public and private sectors once their competency and safety has been assured by ANMC.
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is a federation of midwifery associations representing countries across the globe. The ICM works closely with the World Health Organization, all United Nations agencies, and governments in support of safe motherhood and primary health care strategies for the world’s families. ICM takes the leadership role in development of the definition of the midwife, and the delineation of the midwifery scope of practice (the essential competencies). ICM also promotes standards and guidelines that define the expected structure and context of midwifery pre-service education programs; provides guidance for the development of regulations for midwifery practice; and assists countries tostrengthen the capacity of midwifery associations and to develop leaders of the midwifery profession worldwide.
The ICM Global standards for midwifery education (2010) are one of the essential pillars of ICM’s efforts to strengthen midwifery worldwide by preparing fully qualified 1 midwives to provide high quality, evidence-based health services for women, newborns, and childbearing families. ICM’s pillars include updated core competencies for basic midwifery practice, midwifery education, midwifery regulation and strong midwifery associations. The education standards were developed in tandem with the update of the Essential competencies for basic midwifery practice (2010) as these competencies define the core content of any midwifery education programmer. The education standards were also completed in harmony with midwifery standards of practice and regulation (See web links to these other documents). The Education standards are founded upon the guiding principles and core documents of the ICM that are listed in Key References at the end of this document.