CASA has created a successful, externally evaluated national pilot project - Mexico's first midwifery school. Through CASA's program, young women, primarily from rural areas, with nine formal years of education become proficient and professional midwives who are steeped in both local culture and modern day obstetrics. These young professionals are committed to helping all women be empowered decision makers and advocates for women's right to bodily integrity, personal privacy, and sexual and reproductive autonomy.
With this commitment, CASA commits to a five-year plan to extend the reach of the CASA midwifery school pilot project and franchise the education model. New midwifery schools will be created in Mexico and Guatemala, and further collaboration will take place with other countries in Central America. An increased emphasis on global health will be accomplished through the establishment of an international midwifery training center at the campus of the CASA Midwifery School in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the promotion of national and international scholarship funds for midwives.
A long-standing, large body of evidence demonstrates that respectful midwifery education and care models secure reproductive health and well-being for women and produce healthy newborns in a cost-effective manner. In the developing world, a significant 45% of women do not have professional midwives or any other skilled caregiver serving as a birth attendant. Such conditions often compromise women's health, leading to disabilities and death, with profound effects on newborn children. Exacerbating these problems is the reality that large numbers of women cannot access family planning resources.
Specific activities to be conducted as part of the commitment include:
An interdisciplinary consulting team managed by CASA leadership will work with local intersectorial coalitions (government, NGOs, local philanthropy, businesses, etc.) to launch four new midwifery schools in Mexico and Guatemala. To be eligible for technical assistance, transference of know-how and matching start-up funds for scholarships and construction the intersectorial coalitions must agree to follow the successful pedagogic framework utilized by the CASA Midwifery School - a combination of on-going, hands-on practical clinical training from multiple perspectives along with academic study. This Commitment will offer the majority of scholarships to rural young women and will give priority selection to daughters of traditional midwives. All scholarship recipients must demonstrate a desire to continue serving their local communities.
Public Education & Advocacy Campaign:
Evidence-based practice models and research results will be disseminated to the public, health providers and policy makers via targeted one-on-one and small group interventions (e.g. meetings with directors of hospitals), mass media (primarily radio and possibly television) and the arts (e.g. street theatre).
International Midwifery Research and Training Center:
As part of the campus of the CASA Midwifery School the Center will be established with the goal of educating health care providers and policy makers about midwifery, scientifically documenting & disseminating the impact of models and experiences and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration.
Women are often unable to access comprehensive, professional midwifery in the developing world. Paradoxically, in some resource rich countries, such as the United States, many women do not have entrée to midwifery care either. In many developing and developed countries women endure health care that is not competent or culturally appropriate. A widespread commitment to women's health rights is needed to improve maternal and newborn health.
SEEKING: financial resources, implementing partners, best practice information, media/marketing assistance.
OFFERING: financial resources, implementing partners, best practice information, media/marketing assistance.