Midwife Training to Reduce Infant Mortality in Congo

The University of Navarre Hospital, in conjunction with the Monkole Hospital School of Nursing (Institut Supérieur en Sciences Infirmières, ISSI) and the Friends of Monkole Foundation, have launched a midwife training program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two groups of midwives from Spain have traveled to Kinshasa to help get it underway.

In Congo, the midwife profession is not yet well regulated, and there is no government-recognized qualification. But as Olga Tauler, a nurse and professor at the Monkole School of Nursing explains, an association now exists that is called upon to develop professionally. “That is why it was a good time to embark on this adventure and so, instead of starting with basic training, we decided to start by training trainers.” Now, the midwives who have come from the University of Navarre Hospital are accompanying the ISSI team in professional practice for the final phase of nursing education. “We are now,” continues Olga Tauler, “in the final period of training, which involves about four or five months of internships in large maternity wards and also some internships close to the people.”

Among other things, a fruitful collaboration has been established with Binza, one of the large maternity hospitals in Kinshasa, where a number of nurses also participate in Monkole’s training program.

“The idea now is to continue this collaboration at a distance. We have to give some training sessions on specific issues such as breastfeeding,” says Olga, who is excited about the possibilities that are opening up for the Midwife Project. “It is important to take advantage of the fact that the Spanish midwives are eager to share their experiences, and to raise the funds needed to give continuity to the project, including what the nurses themselves can pay and the assistance of Friends of Monkole, which helps them cover their expenses.

Romana, n. 76, January-June 2023, p. 103.

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