Last week saw the extremely successful annual celebration of the International Day of the Midwife, with festivities, fundraising and events being held across the country to celebrate the work of these amazing men and women. Soapbox attended the student-led midwifery conference at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, where speakers from around the world came to discuss current midwifery issues. Soapbox was there to exhibit our work in low and middle-income healthcare facilities, highlighting our recent developments in Ethiopia and the Gambia, and discussing the merits of simple, low cost interventions to improve hygiene practices in maternity wards.
We were joined by exhibitors from the Royal College of Midwives, the Association of Radical Midwives, SANDs (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity), Birth Forward, Women’s Aid, and Chasing Zero, providing a unique opportunity to experience expertise and research into many of the different aspects of childbirth.
The host of inspiring presenters included Gillian Smith, Director of the Royal College of Midwives for Scotland and Professor Mary Renfrew, a leading health researcher and midwife who recently steered the ground-breaking global Lancet Series on Midwifery. There were also presentations from RGU staff and students; Professor Susan Crowther discussed her own experiences working as a midwife in New Zealand and there continuity of carer model, and Basma Salim, discussed maternity in Libya and Tunisia – Basma is the first Libyan citizen to ever achieve a PhD in midwifery. The range of topics covered created an atmosphere of motivation, celebration, and determination to improve global childbirth practices in the future.
Thanks to Robert Gordon University midwifery students and faculty staff for hosting such an engaging event, and to everyone that visited our stall to learn more about our work.