Tanzanian midwives learning from WA’s best


(Back) Philippa Reppington and Jody Weller with (front) Chiku Hamsi, Hayley Wilson with Georgia Bell (born April 18) and Hilda Kweka. Picture: Jon Hewson
(Back) Philippa Reppington and Jody Weller with (front) Chiku Hamsi, Hayley Wilson with Georgia Bell (born April 18) and Hilda Kweka. Picture: Jon Hewson

SIX Tanzanian midwives are learning from WA’s best.

Through Department of Health initiative Global Health Alliance WA (GHAWA) and the Rotary Clubs of Western Australia and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the midwives are attending master classes at hospitals around WA for the next three weeks.

The enrichment program exposes the midwives to the Australian healthcare environment, allowing them to gain knowledge in leadership and management, learn best practice in maternal and neonatal care, and train the midwives to themselves become trainers.

“This experience from Australia, we’ll take to our country. We’ll learn some new ideas, and we have seen how the Australian midwives work and how they differ from our country,” nurse midwife Chiku Hamisi said.

“The patients are the same, but the new ideas we get here we will go to share with our colleagues and hopefully we will go to teach others.”

Ms Hamisi said the big difference was technology and equipment, and other Tanzanian midwives commended the one to one ratio of midwives to clients, along with home visits and partner involvement.

Nurse midwife Hilda Kweka said the program placements were a valuable experience.

“I’ve learned a lot from the master classes, they’ve broadened our knowledge. A lot about time management and care, we’ve learnt about leadership also,” Ms Kweka said.

Armadale Hospital’s Associate Midwifery Manager Phillipa Reppington was in Tanzania in February for four weeks to assist with the program.

“I think it gives you a much better understanding of how lucky we are in Australia quite frankly, and also what we as midwives here can do for not just Tanzania, but other countries as well who are in a similar set of situations, which basically lead to an unacceptable level of maternal and baby deaths,” Ms Reppington said.

“For me, it’s just my little bit of trying to do something that might help save a mother and baby.

“And that’s my knowledge passed on, for other midwives who then might come over here and gain insight and then go back and champion those best practices and teach their colleagues.”

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