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'Midwives are the backbone of our health system': Lessons from Afghanistan to guide expansion of midwifery in challenging settings.

Journal Article
(Published October, 2013)
Turkmani, S. (Author),
Currie, S. (Author),
Mungia, J. (Author),
Assefi, N. (Author),
Javed Rahmanzai, A. (Author),
Azfar, P. (Author)
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With assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the pre-service midwifery education system in Afghanistan, this paper focuses on the evaluation’s qualitative component. This component included in-depth interviews with 138 graduated midwives and 20 key informants, as well as 24 focus group discussions with women, all conducted between June 2008 and November 2010 in eight provinces in Afghanistan with functioning and accredited midwifery schools. Based on the study results, the authors found that the depth of midwives' contribution in Afghanistan—from increased maternal health care service utilization to changing community perceptions of women's education and professional independence—is overwhelmingly positive. Lessons learned can serve as a model to other low-resource, post-conflict settings that are striving to increase the workforce of skilled providers

Citation: 
Turkmani S, Currie S, Mungia J, Assefi N, Javed Rahmanzai A, Azfar P, et al. 'Midwives are the backbone of our health system': Lessons from Afghanistan to guide expansion of midwifery in challenging settings. Midwifery. 2013 Oct;29(10):1166-72.