August 9, 2022

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New global accreditation programme for midwifery schools aims to save lives in Rwanda

ICM’s MEAP grants first-of-its kind certificate to Kibogora Polytechnic 

Kigali, RW — 15 March 2021 — A school in Rwanda has become the first in the world to successfully complete an accreditation process aimed at strengthening maternity care and saving lives. Towards the end of 2020, Kibogora Polytechnic’s Advanced Diploma in Midwifery, became the first midwifery programme to accomplish the International Confederation of Midwives’ Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme (MEAP). This 12-to-16-month accreditation process assesses whether pre-service midwifery education programmes meet ICM’s global midwifery education standards and is an evidence-based pathway toward strengthening midwife-led care.  

Kibogora’s midwifery students have already begun curriculum work in the newly accredited programme, and while the specific impact of this first cohort’s training is yet to be measured, new global evidence on the impact of midwives demonstrates that educating midwives to global standards directly correlates with a significant reduction in maternal and newborn death. To underscore the impact of the MEAP process, administrators and instructors at Kibogora have observed improved knowledge retention and comprehension in their students — skills that are proven to translate to better health outcomes for Rwandan women and their babies.  

Kibogora was one of three institutions selected out of several global applicants to complete the first-ever undertaking of MEAP. In order to receive their accreditation, Kibogora completed a rigorous application process, followed by a self-assessment of their pre-service programme and an in-country visit from ICM’s MEAP assessors. ICM is still in the process of assessing the remaining two midwifery schools.  

Chief Executive of the International Confederation of Midwives, Dr. Sally Pairman, said:  “Midwives are proven to be a cost-effective solution to drastically reducing maternal and neonatal death, and we see MEAP as a tool to strengthen pre-service midwifery education and thereby raise the standards and competencies of qualified midwives and improve quality care for women, their newborns and their families The MEAP is a new process for us with exciting potential to unify midwife educators with a shared understanding of international best practices in the field of midwifery education. We look forward to working in partnership with Schools of Midwifery, midwife educators, midwife regulators, Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education and Midwives’ Associations to implement quality standardised midwifery education programmes so that every woman and her newborn receives the best-possible care from well-educated, competent midwives”. 

Head of the Midwifery Programme at Kibogora Polytechnic, Chris Adrien Kanakuze, said “MEAP was an excellent learning experience that truly helped improve the quality of midwifery we’re able to offer by strengthening our programme and providing a benchmark against ICM’s global standards. Through this process, we’ve been empowered with the skills to design ways of improving the lessons we provide.” 

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