Due to the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the Developing Midwifery Project (MEP) was postponed from 19 March, 2020, 2020 as per directives of of the Government of Bangladesh. All upcoming modules of April to June semester were distributed to the students before they left the dormitory. DMP took measures to continue academic activities from April through June. 20-25 students were grouped under one faculty and began taking online classes through zoom and facebook. All classes are recorded and those who cannot attend classes can watch the uploaded video later. Weekly exams are conducted and results and feedback are shared with the students. Interaction between the students and teachers are satisfactory. Students who do not have access to online classes can go through the modules and ask questions over the phone to teachers in their weekly calls. The Midwifery Education Team continues to adjust lessons and revise the academic calendar based on class performance and is also arranging for extra help, if required.Click here to see our online education for midwifery students
Three batches comprising of 631 students 7 academic sites under the Developing Midwives Project of the BRAC JPGSPH received training on COVID-19. They were also provided with posters and leaflets for distribution in their communities. 380 students from the Midwives Project organized community meetings on the pandemic (uthan boithok) in their respective localities.
Fifteen awareness programmes were undertaken at two Midwives-led Centers (MLCs) at Jaintapur (UH&FWC), Sylhet and at Brac Maternity Centre, Dhaka within March 22 April 06, 2020. Till December 2020, a total of 21 trainings on personal protective equipment (PPE) and Donning and Doffing of PPE were carried out with midwife students and graduate midwives. Dr. Selina Amin, Head of the Developing Midwives Project has been actively advocating with WHO to supply necessary personal protective equipment for midwives.
Both MLCs in Dhaka and Sylhet are providing midwifery services during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. While the UH&FWCs in general struggles to attract maternity cases, the Midwife-led UH&FWC at Charikata, Sylhet is working very well. Similarly, our BRAC MLC at Mirpur is continuing their services to the mothers of the neighbouring areas. In April 2020, 58 normal vaginal deliveries took place, in comparison to 68 in March and 63 in February. The COVID-19 crises did not alter the functioning or reputation of the Charikata Midwife led UH&FWC. Despite discouragement in view of the COVID-19 situation, 170 antenatal visits took place in April alone. This shows how the midwives have earned the trust of the local people. In addition, they also continued their family planning work. Similarly, in Mirpur BRAC Maternity MLC 30 normal deliveries took place in April in comparison to 43 in March and 29 in February and 95 antenatal visits also took place in April.
The Midwife-Led Centre, a 24/7 maternity centre led and operated by the midwives has been established in an effort to provide quality midwifery-led respectful maternity care to the community. The centres are located in Mirpur, Dhaka, Jaintiapur, Sylhet and Dumuria, Khulna. These MLCs are promoting delete alternative birth positions, pain relief exercises to ease delete normal vaginal delivery. These innovative endeavors have contributed to huge patient flow. This model centre enables the midwifery students to learn how to provide professional midwifery services and promote midwifery professions to the community. The services have also continued during COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. The Midwives ensure personal protection, maintain proper social distancing, hygiene and screening of body temperature of the clients before offering services. As of December 2020, a total 3039 normal deliveries have been conducted by the midwives at the MLCs, of those, 73% clients accepted the alternative birthing chair deliveries; 6679 women participated in the exercise sessions; 9721 women received antenatal checkups and 2818 women received postnatal checkups.