An update on the Midwifery program at the Razia Jan Institute by Malak Yusuf, Program Director:
The Midwifery program at the Razia Jan Institute is in its inaugural year and just concluded the 2nd semester exams. The current class has 22 students, 14 of whom are graduates of the Zabuli Education Center. An incoming Midwifery class of around 18-22 students will begin their program in March or April 2018. Many of the graduating Zabuli Education Center 12th graders will undergo the pre-entrance exams for the Razia Jan Institute for Midwifery to determine whether this would be a viable post-secondary career opportunity.
During my time at at the Razia Jan Institute, I met the three midwifery teachers, Razia (the head coordinator of the Razia Jan Institute), and the crew taking care of Institute's facilities, all working with intention and commitment. The program building is located adjacent to the Zabuli Education Center in a clean two-story property. The students are also continuing their English language classes at the Institute.
Each week, the midwifery students have 2-3 days of in-classroom work, and 3-4 practicum days at off-site health clinics and hospitals. The Razia Jan Institute currently holds practicums at three Deh'Subz area health clinics, as well as the Mirbachakot District Hospital, which is a 90-minute bus ride from the Institute - quite rural in comparison to Kabul city. On practicum days, the students are separated into groups of 4-6 to rotate at the clinics or hospitals to all receive uniform trainings in varying rural and semi-urban settings.
I had the opportunity to accompany six midwifery students on a hospital visit to the Mirbachakot District Hospital. Here are some hospital statistics:
* Up to 10-20 births/day during busy times
* Separate section for women and men
* RJI students break up into pairs (or individual) and spend day in each of the 4 areas in the hospital
4. Neonatal care
(Family planning will be an additional area with more coursework)
I was very impressed and proud of our Razia Jan Institute students! The second they arrive at the hospital, they hurriedly change into hospital gear and get to work. On a typical hospital day, they spend the whole day on their feet from 8AM to 6PM
caring for mothers and infants in a densely populated and fast-paced hospital. They are so dedicated to the severity of their work, are extremely helpful and professional towards hospital staff, nurses, and doctors, and really seem to love what they are doing. Many of the Institute's students admittedly enjoy giving immunization shots and assessing deliveries.
From my initial observations, the midwifery students' knowledge and experience over the past two years will undoubtedly translate positively into an in-demand occupation as community midwives and health workers to support the dire need of reversing high maternal and infant mortality occurrences. This has the potential to have a hugely beneficial long-term impact on the lives of many women, children, and communities in Afghanistan.