Midwifery education anniversary

Posted on Apr 20, 2018

Being a midwife can be an extraordinary, inspiring and life-saving vocation, whilst supporting the mother and her family. NORWAC aims to improve the health of mothers and children through our projects and educational programs in Palestine and notably Gaza, and in Palestinian hospitals in Lebanon.

Being a midwife in Norway, implies organised surroundings and having adequate equipment. Being a Palestinian midwife or Obstetric Nurse, particularly in Gaza involves stressful working conditions, both in relation to a lack of medicines, equipment, healthcare professionals, and electricity. Children do not stop being born even in harsh conditions, and the resilience of Palestinian health professionals working for the health and wellbeing of mother and child is admirable.

One of NORWAC’s Consultants, Synne Holan has experienced Midwifery in all its forms. Holan has worked for 35 years in the humanitarian sector resulting in considerable experiences, expertise, knowledge, courage, and friendships. Being a midwife and a teacher, with a master degree in Public Health, she has been part of the NORWAC team since the early 80’s. Throughout her career, she has worked in several of the middle-eastern countries, Africa, the Balkans and in Afghanistan as an educator, midwife and project coordinator.

NORWAC always strives toward gender equality and respect. The Palestinian midwives have a solid educational and professional background, but being a woman in the hierarchy of a Palestinian hospital, can be challenging and it requires constant attention. If you are not male or a doctor, there are many obstacles. Fortunately, there is a positive shift, and the midwife occupation is slowly gaining the respect it deserves. One of the ways NORWAC works to speed this process, is through our work in education and training.

The midwifery education celebrates its 200th anniversary, and Synne tells us that the Palestinian midwives jokingly say that in 180 years, they can celebrate the same status as midwifery in Norway. When considering how much they have progressed already; greater and faster development can be expected than that achieved in Norway.