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Global Health and Midwifery

Knowledge Health and Place is actively engaged in work on global health. The Midwifery contribution to this places women’s reproductive and neonatal health at the forefront of the Public Health agenda in both the local, and ever-widening global arenas. Women’s concerns about safety, dignity, continuity of care and choice that respects their social and cultural needs are universal. Furthermore, low-resource interventions designed for improving childbirth in global settings could be adapted for application in local settings where NHS maternity budgets are increasingly stretched. This can result in the lack of continuity, or respect for maternal choice which impacts upon maternity care in all settings, locally and globally.

Educating both local and global students about the provision of safe, respectful maternity care is also an area of research interest within the group. Currently the use of both high and low technology simulation is being evaluated as a teaching tool for transmitting technical knowledge as well as teaching enhanced communication skills in difficult clinical and social scenarios, such as during bereavement care. Other educational research interests within the group include using birth art as a creative tool for student engagement, the effect of mindfulness and other compassionate self-care techniques to increase coping strategies in students following distressing clinical incidents, and evaluating scenario-based teaching models to help students develop a holistic, empathetic approach to care.

KH&P is also engaged in work, which begins with maternity care but has wide-ranging applications within health care, particularly within low resource environments. These include bio-medical engineering interventions to reduce the adverse outcomes of massive haemorrhage, and infection-control measures. The team has an established reputation in the field of professional volunteering and ethical undergraduate placements to facilitate knowledge of maternity and other health care within the context of global social justice.

Project Examples