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About CAM – Global Engagement

Global Engagement

CAM believes that midwives play a unique and fundamental role in the provision of quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn health care - both in Canada, and internationally.  We are investing in a world where every girl, woman and newborn will have access to that care – care that can save lives.  

Since 2008, CAM has been working through partnerships with other ICM Member Midwifery Associations to deliver reciprocal capacity building and project development initiatives.  CAM’s long-standing relationships with l’Association des Infirmières Sages-femmes d’Haiti (AISFH) and the Tanzania registered Midwives Association (TAMA) have increased CAM’s capacity to fulfill its international objectives, and to contribute to strengthening our sister associations globally. These partnerships have provided the foundation for our current work.

We are building on our learning, expanding the ways in which we collaborate, and using our experience to inform how we respond to the array of opportunities to increase the scope of our global efforts.  CAM now has the tools and systems in place to access and manage international funding, and to collaboratively monitor and evaluate our unique Association to Association programming. We are poised for growth, and look to our Midwifery Association partners to help identify what comes next.   

The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

CAM is a key stakeholder within the Canadian Network for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (CAN-MNCH), actively participating in dialogue and events with Network partners to bring the voice of Canadian Midwives and Midwifery to the international table.  Comprised of more than 60 Canadian organizations who are actively engaged in global work related to maternal, newborn, child health, CAN MNCH has been given a mandate by the partner organizations to play a leadership role in developing synergistic collaboration among Canadian constituents.

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Tanzania and Canada– Association to Association Twinning

CAM and TAMA continue to participate in the international Association-Association Twinning project, UMOJA, which was conceived by ICM in 2011.   Based on fundamental principles of equality, sharing, and respect, the collaboration has brought about remarkable results in terms of our mutual capacity to serve our members, and to advocate on behalf of women and newborns. We believe that by strengthening the capacity of our respective organizations, providing improved advocacy, continuing education, and health profession leadership, midwives in Canada and Tanzania will be better supported to access relevant information, and to engage in best practices, resulting in higher quality maternal health services for women in both countries. 

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Peer to Peer Twinning

In June, 2013, our work expanded to include reciprocal capacity building at a peer-to-peer level.  Currently, twenty-four Tanzanian-Canadian midwife pairs are working remotely to exchange information and resources, and to support one another to fulfill what can sometimes be a very difficult role. This is a powerful connection that surpasses borders and recognizes the part that each of us can play in improving MNCH outcomes globally.  It also recognizes how much more we can accomplish when we work together.

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Improved Service Delivery for Safe Motherhood (ISDSM) Project

In July 2013, CAM was awarded funding by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation for the Improved Service Delivery for Safe Motherhood Project: Strengthening & Supporting Midwifery in Tanzania (ISDSM). The three year project applies a twinning approach to enhancing the skills of practicing midwives in rural districts across Tanzania to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care .  Canadian midwives have been working with our Tanzanian counterparts to create a harmonized adaptation of Canadian and Tanzanian emergency skills programming.  The result of this collaboration is the Midwives Emergency Skills Training Program (MEST)- the only training of its kind, geared specifically to midwives, in Tanzania.  Over the course of this project, a total of 300 midwives will receive training that is essential for the management of emergency situations.  It is hoped that this effort will serve as a replicable model to support safe motherhood internationally. 

 "Participants have been very excited about the ‘hands on’ approach to the MEST training.  The majority of participants have had two years of professional training, through which they learned to manage normal deliveries.  Abnormal deliveries including pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, breech delivery, shoulder dystocia, were only discussed in theory, with no practice.  This makes the MEST training particularly relevant, and many participants say they look forward to applying their new skills within their health facility." - Deborah Bonser, RM 

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Association Strengthening Workshops

In February 2014, the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) funded a mission for CAM representatives to Port-au-Prince in Haiti to organize and facilitate a workshop on Association Leadership for the Association des Infirmières Sages-femmes d’Haiti (AISFH), as requested by the association’s Board of Directors.  In January 2015, CAM was invited by the Society of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) to facilitate two association strengthening workshops for the Association des Sages-Femmes du Mali (ASFM).  These workshops were delivered within the framework of the SOGC’s existing project Réduction de la mortalité maternelle et néonatale au Mali. In both cases, the workshops were met with great enthusiasm, and the outcomes have been significant.  For example, the Mali Association has now completed its strategic planning process, supported by the learning from the CAM workshop.  CAM is confident that these workshops are one very tangible way in which we can support the growth and success of our sister associations.

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CAM Pre-departure training for Canadian Midwives

CAM has commissioned the design of midwife-specific preparatory training for Canadian midwife volunteers who will be taking on international placements.  Applying an experiential, adult learning approach, CAM’s training explores components of intercultural effectiveness, conflict management, peer support, and adaptability for new contexts.  It also provides logistical and practical support that is tailored for each specific placement.  If you are participating in an overseas project, with CAM or otherwise, it is important that you are properly prepared to ensure the best possible outcome.  Please contact [email protected] if you would like more information about this useful tool for Canadian Midwives.

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