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Midewifery: an interview with the Dean of the School of Public Health at the Lebanese University about the profession and the upcoming syndicate


An Nahar newspaper published an interview with the Dean of the School of Public Health at the Lebanese University, Dr. Nina Zeidan, about the midwifery specialty offered at the University and the attempt to strengthen this profession through the establishment of a Syndicate to protect the rights of midwives.
Zeidan noted that 75 students register every year at the school of midwifery which is spread in 5 locations across Lebanon.  Of these, 50 to 55 complete their midwifery training which includes a practicum period implemented in selected hospitals where students have to attend to pregnant women.  The practicum period can delay graduation as in some areas; the trainees are not able to attend to the required number of pregnant women. Zeidan also added that students are required to follow various courses including political sciences, women’s mental, physical and psychological health as well maternal and child health.  In addition, students are also exposed to ethics and communication as well as sciences such as chemistry, statistics, biology, genetics, and nursing.
Zaidan clarified that midwives can only practice after they receive certification from the Ministry of Public Health which requires the completion of four years of university education as well as a number of practicum hours.  Meanwhile, and with regards to the establishment of the Syndicate of midwives, she pointed out that the parliamentary commission has already endorsed the related law which includes various items such as the mandate of the Syndicate, the eligibility criteria for membership, the regulation of the general assembly, the mandate of the board of the Syndicate and that of its president, its specialized committees, that of the disciplinary board, the election of the founding board and the establishment of the pension and gratuities fund.
Zeidan finally stressed the importance of the Syndicate in protecting the rights of midwives and regulating the profession.  Although midwives have the possibility to work on their own, in a hospital or in a maternity clinic, yet, there is a need for a better regulation of the profession as well as for putting in place clear disciplinary mechanism.  Finally, it should be noted that there are currently around 1400 certified midwives in Lebanon and a few remaining traditional midwives who still operate in remote rural areas.
Source: Al-Nahar 22 January 2014

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