Midwifery Education in Saudi Arabia A Literature Review
In the 21st century, due to the advancement to technology and awareness, these rates have decreased, but more work needs to be done in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where skilled professionals do less than 50% of maternal care. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made tremendous strides in ensuring that the ratio of nurses and midwives is as per the required international standards. Hibbert et al. , (2017) states that the ratio of midwives in the country is 49 per 1000 people, and it has initiated education which goes beyond training but making it sustainable. Global Midwives shortage The “state of the world's midwifery 2011: delivering health, saving lives” is a publication which was done by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and gave a comprehensive look into the condition of midwifery globally.
For example, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, (2016) only 32% of childbirths are done by skilled midwives, while the rest of the mothers rely on traditional midwives for assistance during birth or pregnancy. The matter has still been aggravated by the general health conditions such as malaria, malnutrition, HIV/Aids, and diabetes all of which increase the rate of maternal and newborn deaths in developing nations (United States Government Accountability Office, 2017). Internationally, nurses and midwives consist of the majority of the healthcare workforce and are the tenets which facilitate the provision of quality healthcare to the nations. However, a report by the WHO, (2016) on the shortage of human resource for health highlighted the reasons for the global shortage of nurses. One of them is that there has been increased international and internal migration of midwives where many midwives in the country migrate to non-governmental health facilities or the private ones, from the public sector (World Health Organization, 2017).
Statistics given by Allabasi, (2015) have shown that the country has long struggled to attracted women and men into the profession due to difficulties of remuneration, social perceptions and shift schedules of the profession. The situation has been worsened by many of the Saudi citizens who are not willing to accept unsatisfactory and difficult working conditions while carrying out health care in the facilities claims (Miligi, & Selim, 2014). However, the number has been on the rise where currently the midwives and nurses in the country form half of the country’s workforce (Allabbasi, 2015). The WHO, (2017) classifies the midwifery services in KSA the same as those of a developing nation, yet the country has enjoyed some rapid modernization, diversity and economic growth. For example, in Riyadh, the King Faisal Medical City is one of the ultra-modern facilities which have been established to better maternal health in the country.
Research in 2017 by the NHS inquiry on the country’s maternal health revealed that 750,000 mothers who give birth in a year would see the same the midwife through pregnancy, during birth and postnatal care (Edwards, Mander & Murphy-Lawless, 2018). Also, the shortage is considered acute because women are not getting one on one services with midwives as they are supposed to in maternal care. Though the latest figures by Edwards, Mander & Murphy-Lawless, (2018) indicate that there has been a rise in the number of midwives in the country, the State of Maternity Services Report of 2015 indicate that the country needs 4800 more midwives. However, Hibbert et al. , (2017) pointed the ratio is very different from that of KSA in that the United Kingdom ratio is 88 midwives per 1000 people while the one of KSA is 49 per 1000 people.
Turnover here can mean when the midwives transfer within the healthcare system or they leave it all together. These high levels of turnovers in KSA have been rooted in maldistribution in the healthcare system and the current shortages. High levels of turnover have had negative working conditions for the staff who remain by having increased workloads, resulting in disrupted teamwork, and reduced motivation. This, therefore, results in a cycle of turnover further increasing the need for the human power in the health sector (Geller et al. Job dissatisfaction burns out, and turnover rate in the country then causes increased mortality rates. This, therefore, has resulted in poor healthcare delivery which affects the well-being of the pregnant mother, childbirth, and newborn caregiving.
The country needs to improve the working conditions and remuneration to attract more local people to enroll in nursing education to fill in the gaps in the healthcare department. Despite the strides done by the government, there is a lot needed to be done to ensure that the ratio of women to midwife in the country is at appropriate levels. References Alabbasi, K. Maternal Variables as Potential Modifiable Risk Indicators of Preterm Labor in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. F. , McCourt, C. , & Baron, M. Childbirth care practices in public sector facilities in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: A descriptive study. Midwifery, 30(7), 899-909. , & Murphy-Lawless, J. Untangling the maternity crisis. Routledge. Geller, S. , Koch, A. Hibbert, D. , Aboshaiqah, A. , Sienko, K. , Forestell, D. , Harb, A. html Miligi, E.
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