November 5, 2020, by Jason Feehily

The Division of Midwifery’s Global Citizenship Journey in Indonesia

Midwifery in Indonesia

Midwives take an important role in supervising and assisting mothers during pregnancy, antenatal care, labour, and even in daily care of the baby. Thus, midwives are essential in giving the best health service to mother and baby. Although the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is declining year by year, Indonesia is still ranked top 20 in the world on MMR (Macrotrends, 2020). The role of midwives in improving health status of women in Indonesia is very important; midwives have a very large contribution in community. Therefore it is important to increase the participation of midwives in supporting women’s health, not only in quantity but also in quality. Midwives in Indonesia encounter many problems such as attenuation of their roles. In order to strengthen the midwives, and to be able to enhance their role and their profession, quality of the midwives should be improved. In response to the issues above, improving midwifery education has become one of the national priorities in Indonesia.

Midwifery in Indonesia is currently primarily offered at Diploma level. There are only 3 universities in the country that offer a BSc in Midwifery and 2 that offer an MSc in Midwifery (although these follow a biomedical curriculum and provide very little actual midwifery content). There is a great need and desire for upskilling Midwifery graduates to MSc level – primarily in order to fulfil a government mandate to open more BSc programmes and these require MSc graduates as faculty. Likewise, further expansion of any MSc programmes is dependent upon having faculty with PhDs in Midwifery. Current university programmes rely heavily on non-Midwifery faculty and have very few international links. There is a national imperative to expand and upgrade university-based Midwifery education and research, and to develop the professional identity and knowledge base of Midwifery as a profession. Midwifery Education Association of Indonesia (Asosiasi Pendidikan Kebidanan Indonesia, known as AIPKIND, established in 2008, a national organisation for midwifery educators with a membership over 800 schools/colleges/universities in Indonesia) are working with Indonesian Midwifery Association (Ikatan Bidan Indonesia, known as IBI, founded in 1951) to improve the quality of midwifery education in Indonesia.

The Journey

Midwives from Indonesia have regularly been on our MSc Midwifery programme within School of Health Sciences. The journey of engagement with Indonesia in midwifery started as one of our Indonesian MSc Midwifery alumnus (a senior member of AIPKIND and a Midwifery lecturer at the University of Airlangga) got in touch to explore potential collaboration in midwifery education with our Division of Midwifery which has a world reputation. In March 2016, with the support from Asia Business Centre and then International Office, we welcomed a delegation which was composed of midwifery educators, representatives from AIPKIND, medical educators and representatives from the government visiting University of Nottingham to explore potential opportunities for collaboration both at undergraduate (BSc Midwifery) and masters (MSc Midwifery) level as there were no set midwifery education standards in Indonesia. Fully funded by AIPKIND, Professor Helen Spiby and Associate Professor Louise Walker, representing Division of Midwifery, were then invited to give a keynote speech at the International Seminar: Midwifery Education Reform on 6th and 7th October in 2016 in Jakarta on ‘Art and Science in Midwifery Science’ and ‘Respectful Midwifery Care and Services’

Indonesian Delegation visiting University of Nottingham in March 2016, hosted by Division of Midwifery and Asia Business Centre

respectively. Together with Associate Professor Catrin Evans, they also ran research focused workshops for educators and met with educationalist and government minister to discuss possible work and MoA/MoUs with specific organisations. During the visit, Universitas Airlangga and Universitas Brawijaya initiated discussions for future collaboration. This visit helped to gain support from key stakeholders such as WHO, British Council and Indonesian government from wider aspects. Highly recommended by AIPKIND, University of Nottingham was clearly positioned as one of the few overseas providers for study in midwifery. This has also generated the opportunity for involvement in a national research priority setting agenda for midwifery in Indonesia and subsequent bids to government agencies, coordinated through AIPKIND and the relevant universities.

In March 2017 AIPKIND invited our Division of Midwifery to act as their education consultant to develop, in collaboration with their stakeholders, a midwifery-focused national Bachelor of Science midwifery curriculum. Subsequently a review of the current Indonesian undergraduate midwifery curriculum was

Division of Midwifery attending the International Seminar: Midwifery Education Reform, October 2016, Jakarta

conducted and a BSc Midwifery curriculum was written by Division of Midwifery for universities in Indonesia. To support the implementation of a new curriculum a series of workshops were conducted with midwifery educators to share the proposed curriculum model, to develop module content, assessment strategy and to develop a ‘ways of knowing’ framework.

Where We are and Looking Forward

The active exchange between our Division of Midwifery and Indonesia continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Professor Louise Walker was a speaker at the Maternal Health at the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar, held by the Midwifery Programme, the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya on 26th September 2020. She covered the topic on maternal health system and policy in the UK during the pandemic, including the roles of midwives. Other speakers in the webinar included representatives from UNICEF Asia Pacific Region, the Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, the University of Adelaide, University of Indonesia, Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI) and Indonesian Medial Association.

On 16th October 2020 Louise also presented at a virtual workshop on the Midwife Professional Education Study Programme, held by the Medical Faculty, Universitas Andalas who has prepared a proposal for the opening of the midwifery professional education study programme and has obtained permission from the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia to open Midwife Professional Education Study Programme.

Building on a collective experience of international work, the collaboration with Indonesia in midwifery has also created a unique professional development opportunity for our Division of Midwifery as it is very important to ensure our curriculum reflects a global perspective in research & teaching and staff are more equipped to support our international students. The next chapter of the collaboration with Indonesia in midwifery, through AIPKIND, is to write an MSc programme and we are looking forward to further deepening the collaboration to demonstrate the Division’s commitment to global citizenship.

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