Educating Skilled Birth Attendants in Mexico: Do the Curricula Meet International Confederation of Midwives Standards?
Posted: 27 Mar 2008
Although the majority of births in Mexico are attended by skilled birth attendants, maternal mortality remains moderately high, raising questions about the quality of training and delivery care. We conducted an exhaustive review of the curricula of three representative schools for the education and clinical preparation of three types of birth attendant - obstetric nurses, professional midwives and general physicians - National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) School of Obstetric Nursing; CASA Professional Midwifery School; and UNAM School of Medicine, Iztacala Campus. All curricular materials were measured against the 214 indicators of knowledge and ability in the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) skilled attendant training guidelines. The CASA curriculum covered 83% of the competencies, 93% of basic knowledge and 86% of basic abilities, compared with 54%, 59% and 64% for UNAM Obstetric Nursing School and 43%, 60% and 36% for UNAM School of Medicine, respectively. Neither the Obstetric Nursing School nor the School of Medicine documented the quantity or types of clinical experience required for graduation. General physicians attend the most births in Mexico, yet based on our analysis, professional midwives had the most complete education and training as measured against the ICM competencies. We recommend that professional midwives and obstetric nurses should be formally integrated into the public health system to attend deliveries.
Keywords: competency-based education, medical education, obstetric nursing education, midwifery education, childbirth, Mexico
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