PAHO provides an update on pharmacology during pregnancy to 100 midwives from six Latin American countries

3 Oct 2021

Montevideo, October 03, 2021 (CLAP/PAHO)- Every year midwives look after a significant share of the nearly 140 million births in the region. In most cases, no risks of complications have been identified for the pregnant women or for their babies before the onset of labor. However, midwives also encounter and are in charge of situations in which complications arise; in such cases, the professional must guarantee effective and quality care; in part, this implies having current knowledge on the use of the medicines available to meet those needs.

A request by the Latin American Federation of Obstetricians (FLO) that highlighted the importance of updating knowledge in this area led to the development of the “Update Course for midwives on the use of common medicines in obstetric practice”. This is a virtual interactive proposal designed specifically for midwives, and intended to strengthen knowledge, skills and competences of midwives on the pharmacology applied in their professional field.

One hundred participants from Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and El Salvador participate in this pilot proposal, seeking to innovate in the dynamics and content, by applying new technologies. One of the keys is “the active participation of students in the resolution of cases, which encourages the development of critical thinking, builds upon previous knowledge and allows for the incorporation of novel evidence-based knowledge,” says Ema Schuler, President of the Latin American Federation of Obstetricians (FLO), an institution that requested assistance from PAHO's Latin American Center for Perinatology (CLAP). Through this course, she sought to meet the demand expressed by her colleagues. 

Erika Rodríguez is one of the students of this course; she has practiced midwifery for 15 years and is a professor at the Universidad Científica del Sur in Peru, her country. Rodríguez highlights that a very positive aspect of the proposal is that it presents clinical cases, the data get updated, and that it is interactive in real time: “I had never participated in a course with simultaneous interaction, it will help me as an input to develop the sessions that I teach at the University”. 
Lorena Gandozo, coordinator of the National Federation of Midwives and Obstetricians of Ecuador (FENOE), shares that view, considering that the course will be very useful for her professional practice. Gandozo has been a midwife for 17 years and highlights the “clarity of the teachers’ explanations”. 
As a result, this training will not only update and improve this professional group’s knowledge in the field of the pharmacology of the pregestational, gestational and puerperium processes and labor, but, as Schuler puts it, it will also “allow midwives to demonstrate the acquisition of such important skills to advocate for the recognition and approval of laws regulating their competencies at the decision makers’ level. This knowledge feeds back or accounts for the improvement of the performance of professional work”.