Blog Post Authors: Grace Thomas and Sarah Davies
Grace and Sarah visited University of Namibia in Windhoek in October to collaborate with the midwifery team there on curriculum development and student exchange opportunities. We were fortunate that our visit was funded by a Strategic Development Grant from the School of Healthcare Sciences and must thank Prof Dianne Watkins for her advice and support. Travelling with 15 colleagues from across CU was a great chance to get to know the different projects that make up Phoenix and the importance of building in evaluation from the outset. Prof Hall and Nicola are dynamic leaders and Jen made sure all ran smoothly, including special diets! What a team!
UNAM educate nurse-midwives through a 4-year degree programme and their curriculum is well developed. The midwifery lecturing team at UNAM, headed up by Dr Kathe Hofnie, were keen to discuss ways of bridging the practice-theory gap with the use of simulated learning and to evaluate the confidence of students to practice midwifery at the end of their programme. We were fortunate to have the expertise of Dr Christina Diaz-Navarro to advise on the development of a train the trainers programme which we hope to return to deliver in the near future. We have been able to support the team by sharing many learning resources and advising on advanced curriculum development.
A positive outcome of our trip is the agreement for exchange visits between student midwives and the CU Midwifery Society are planning a “buddying” role to share learning and experiences with colleagues at UNAM. Other highlights of our trip included visits to the Maternity Unit at Windhoek General Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital in Rehoboth, Grace’s Radio Namibia interview and Sarah’s outstanding acting in the simulation teaching of final year medical students!
Every woman needs a midwife and building confidence through education in safe midwifery practice with prompt referral is the goal for the midwifery stream of the Phoenix Project.