By K.A. BhardwajKanpur: The Indian midwives are among the most respected in the country.
They are often asked to conduct examinations, give childbirth lessons and even perform surgery on pregnant women.
But now, as India becomes a hub for childbirth and midwifery services, the profession is facing an uncertain future.
“As a midwife you are the sole provider of care for the baby.
The baby is expected to survive.
But as a midwomener, your primary responsibility is to ensure the baby’s well-being,” said Shailesh Agrawal, a midwives from a private midwinder training school in Kanpur.
Midwives have traditionally been viewed as the care givers of the baby, but in recent years, they are being challenged by a changing medical landscape.
Midwives are being asked to provide midwifi connectivity to the home, while the baby is being nursed, as the internet has become a major part of the healthcare equation.
The Indian government is considering legislation to give midwives the same access to the internet as other healthcare professionals.
The midwives, who are trained as midwives by the government, are also faced with a huge challenge in recruiting, retaining and training their workers.
The new legislation, which has been brought forward for approval by the Indian government, aims to make it easier for the midwives to recruit, train and retain midwives.
It will require midwives and midwives’ employers to set up an online portal where they will be able to register their employees, which will help them identify their most suitable candidates.
The government wants to incentivise the hiring of midwives through an online recruitment platform, which would ensure that midwives would be paid on time and in full.
“We have a huge shortage of midwimters and this is going to help us get more midwives in the workforce.
We will have to make sure the system is set up to make this happen,” said Jitendra Kaul, the head of the government’s national midwound training academy, which oversees the registration of midwife candidates.
Midwifers are not alone in facing the challenges of finding midwives with good training and credentials.
“It is not a secret that the midwife profession has faced a lot of difficulties,” said Preeti Kumar, a professor at the Delhi-based Centre for Research on Women (CRW).
“In the past, the training system was very basic, and most midwives did not even have the required qualifications,” she said.
“Now, there is a push for better training and credentialing for the profession.”
Rights of midwomen and midwife training The current legislation requires all midwives enrolled in training to have a minimum of eight years of training before they can apply for the post of mid-wife.
This is meant to give them an edge over other trainees.
However, it has not been implemented, leaving many midwives frustrated.
The current legislation, introduced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF), requires all trainees enrolled in midwinding to have eight years training before becoming midwives.(Source: Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCF))Midwives are also facing a shortage of medical certificates, and training institutes have not been given the resources to provide the certificates.
“The certificates are being issued to the institutions on a regular basis.
But the certificates are issued on a paper form, which does not include the details of training,” said Kaul.
“If the certificate is not given by the institution, the institution cannot issue the certificate,” she added.
The issue is particularly acute in the state of Karnataka, where the government has been pushing for training centres for midweworkers to be set up.
But in the absence of a mechanism to make training centres available, the state government is seeking funding to set a training centre.
Kaul said the government was looking into setting up an institute in Hyderabad, in which a mid-winder would have to have completed a minimum course of training, while earning a minimum salary.
“We have to work in a state where wages are low, so we have to offer a salary that is much higher than other states,” she explained.
“This is a problem in a country where there are so many educated people in the society.”
For midwives training centres, the government is looking at two options: setting up the institutes themselves, or making it easier to attract them.
“The training centre is being run by the state, and there is no other option to get the certificates,” said Kumar.
“But if the state makes it easier, then we can make the training centres accessible to them.
This will help the industry.”
Kangana Ranaut, a former Congress leader and now a political activist, has advocated for the creation of