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Capacity Building:
The National Midwives' Association of Yemen (YMA)

Since 2006, ESD has worked closely with the Basic Health Services (BHS) project in Yemen in supporting the continued development of the National Midwives Association of Yemen (YMA). The YMA was established in 2004 to enable Yemeni midwives to better perform their role in delivering quality reproductive health care services to women, mothers and children in rural and urban areas. By the end of 2007, the YMA had more than 1,100 members and has continued to grow.

Uganda South-to-South Exchange

ESD has provided focused technical assistance to strengthen the YMA’s institutional capacity to plan strategically, establish and maintain financial management systems, and review and update operational plans. Part of this collaboration included a South-to-South learning exchange with the well established Uganda Private Midwives Association (UPMA) in early 2007. A small group of midwives from the YMA visited Uganda, taking important and applicable knowledge back to Yemen 

The results from this exchange have exceeded all expectations. As a direct or partial result of the Uganda visit:


Suad Alone

YMA co-founder Suad Saleh receives the Humanitarian of the Year award from InterAction.

  • YMA incorporated a system for licensing and registering members following Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) protocols.
  • A generic job description for all midwives was drafted by YMA; it is currently awaiting approval from the MoPHP.
  • A Code of Ethics was drafted, presented to and is currently awaiting approval by the MoPHP; the Code will extend to all paraprofessional health workers in the country. It is the first of its kind in Yemen.
  • An infection-prevention apparatus and practices were adopted in areas where there is a lack of water (based on model seen in Uganda).
Establishing Private Practices

ESD has also helped to develop a course to improve the business management skills—basic accounting, costing and pricing services, budgeting, marketing, etc.—of members who seek to establish private practices. ESD is working with a local business—the Shaher for Marketing and Management Consultancies—to institutionalize this course for future members who wish to be trained. The first group of midwives will finish their business skills training in Summer 2008.

The establishment of private practices is one of several initiatives aimed at improving maternal and child health in some of Yemen's most underserved areas. One of the creators of the YMA, Ms. Suad Saleh, has lead efforts to train community midwives to implement outreach services in rural areas and to establish private midwifery practices at the national level. In a country where most women, including midwives, are culturally-bound to the home and require male companions to travel, the establishment of private practices is essential to increasing access to women’s health services in remote locations.



Related Documents

About the Basic Health Services (BHS) Project in Yemen

Scaling-Up Best Practices in RH/FP in Yemen

Promoting the Safe Age of Marriage

Mobilizing Religious Leaders for RH/FP in Yemen




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