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Cardiff University’s WHOCC launch WHO Midwifery Assessment Tool for Education

5 May 2020

Baby feet

The World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Midwifery Development based at the School of Healthcare Sciences, launches its WHO Midwifery Assessment Tool for Education (MATE) today, on International Day of the Midwife.

MATE provides an evidence-based guide for countries wishing to develop and strengthen their midwifery education and policies. It also offers a self-assessment tool to stimulate and inform discussions within countries at early planning stages.

The tool asks midwives, leaders, educators and women using maternity services to consider;

  • where they are in relation to midwifery education
  • where they would like to be in the future
  • what actions they would need to take to realise that ambition.

The idea behind MATE came during a Cardiff University WHOCC visit to Uzbekistan in 2015.

Within Europe, the educational preparation, professional regulation and scope of practice of midwifery, varies widely. There is considerable opportunity to improve access to high-quality midwifery education, especially in Eastern Europe.

It is hoped that MATE will be a valuable resource for many member States.

Speaking about its launch, Professor Billie Hunter, Director of the Cardiff University WHOCC, said;

“I am so delighted to see MATE published after everyone’s hard work over the past four years. Many people have contributed to the development and testing of MATE from across the European region including student midwives, midwifery educators, mothers, nurses, representatives of professional associations and policy makers. I would like to give my sincere thanks to them all”.

Deputy Director of WHOCC, Grace Thomas, also shared;

“It is exciting to launch MATE. We are now liaising with WHO Europe on our work plan for the next four years which includes supporting a country to use MATE in their development of midwifery education. The evidence is clear that high quality midwifery care can prevent deaths of women and babies, so this work is crucial".

The World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Midwifery Development based in the School of Healthcare Sciences, is one of only two such centres in the world - the other being in Chile, South America. Cardiff University was designated as a WHOCC in 2016 and has been actively leading on and supporting midwifery projects in the WHO European region ever since.